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Dunbar Rowland, LL. D., 




Jackson, Mississippi 


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19 19 


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Dunbar Rowland, LL. D., 




Jackson, Mississippi 


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Chapter Page 

I. General Administration 7 

II. Public Education . 20 

Historical 20 

Common Schools 67 

Higher Education 125 

Conclusion 147 

III. Guaranteeing Bank Deposits 157 

IV. Taxation 184 

V. Public Health __ 218 

VI. Agricultural Administration 244 

Index _ 263 


This volume of the Publications is devoted to the presenta- 
tion of an interesting study of Public Administration in Missis- 
sippi by Prof. A. B. Butts of the Faculty of the Mississippi A. 
& M. College. The encouragement of such scholarly undertak- 
ings by the educators of the State by the publication of their 
theses, prepared as a means of securing degrees, is the fixed 
policy of the Society. Such a policy honors the scholar and at 
the same time is most creditable to the Society. 


Department of Archives and History, 
Jackson, Mississippi, December 27, 1919. 





Professor of Education and Sociology in the 
Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College 
Sometime Gilder Fellow in Columbia University 

Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements 

For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the 

Faculty of Political Science 

Columbia University 





This study was commenced upon the suggestion of Dr. 
Howard Lee McBain of Columbia University, to whom the 
author is indebted for many wise and helpful suggestions. To 
Dr. Dunbar Rowland, Secretary of the Mississippi Historical 
Society, the author expresses deepest appreciation for many 
courtesies extended at every stage of the work in preparing this 
study ; through him, too, the author gratefully extends his thanks 
to the Mississippi Historical Society for the privilege of pub- 
lishing this monograph as a volume of the publications of the 
Society. His thanks are also due his wife, without whose help 
in the preparation of the manuscript the publication of this 
study would have been greatly delayed. The many state offi- 
cials who have furnished material and made helpful suggestions 
are too numerous to mention ; to all of them the author expresses 
grateful appreciation. He also acknowledges indebtedness to 
Professor E. S. Towles of the Department of Modern Languages 
in the Mississippi A. & M. College, for assistance in reading the 
proof and in the preparation of the index. 

Agricultural College, Miss., A. B. B. 

September, 1919. 




In the place of the time-honored triumvirate of government 
made up of the legislative, the executive, and the judicial 
branches, students of political science 1 have suggested that all of 
the activities of government may be included in two branches, 
namely, the "policy determining" and the "policy executing" 
branches. By the former, the policies of government are formu- 
lated and written into law; by the latter, these policies are ad- 
ministered. In this study attention will be directed toward the 
policy executing, or administrative branch of the government in 
Mississippi. It is germane to the purpose of this study to sketch 
in the beginning the position occupied in the general administra- 
tion of the state government by each individual officer, board, or 
commission charged with any part of "the detailed execution of 
the will of the state as it is manifested in the laws." 

Like the constitutions of most of the commonwealths of the 
United States, the Constitution of Mississippi declares that the 
powers of government of the state shall be divided into three 
distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate 
magistry, to wit : those which are legislative to one, those which 
are judicial to another, and those which are executive to another. 2 
Only six state executive or administrative officers are provided 
for in the constitution, namely, the governor, lieutenant gover- 
nor, secretary of state, state treasurer, auditor of public accounts, 
and state librarian. All other officers charged with administra- 
tive duties are provided for by statute law. 

-The Governor has vested in him by the constitution the 
chief executive power of the state. 3 He holds his office for four 
years and is ineligible as his immediate successor. The manner 

'Prominent among them, Dr. F. J. Goodnow. See Rawles, Adm. of 
Indiana, Col. Univ. Studies, Vol. XVII, No. 1, p. 15, administration 

'Const. 1890, Sec. 1, Art. I; 1817, Art. II, Sec. 1; 1832, Art. II, Sec. 1; 
1869, Art. Ill, Sec. 1. 

•Art V, Sec. 116, Const. 1890. 


of electing a governor in Mississippi is unusual, for two sepa- 
rate majorities are required. The successful candidate must 
have (1) a popular majority — that is, a majority of the individ- 
ual votes cast all over the state, and (2) a majority of the elec- 
toral votes. Section 140 of Article 5 of the Constitution reads 
as follows : 

The governor of the state shall be chosen in the following manner: 
On the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November of A. D., 1895, 
and on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in every 
fourth year thereafter, until the day shall be changed by law, an elec- 
tion shall be held in the several counties and districts created for 
the election of members of the house of representatives in this state, for 
governor, and the person receiving in any county or such legislative 
district the highest number of votes cast therein, for said office, shall 
be holden to have received as many votes as such county or district is 
entitled to members in the house of representatives, which last named 
votes are hereby designated "electoral votes." In all cases where a 
representative is apportioned to two or more counties or districts, the 
electoral vote, based on such representative, shall be equally divided 
among such counties or districts. The returns of said election shall 
be certified by the election commissioners, or a majority of them, of the 
several counties and transmitted, sealed, to the seat of government, 
directed to the secretary of state, and shall be by him safely kept and 
delivered to the speaker of the house of representatives at the next 
ensuing session of the legislature within one day after he shall have 
been elected. The speaker shall, on the next Tuesday after he shall 
have received said returns, open and publish them in the pres- 
ence of the house of reprsntatives, and said house shall ascer- 
tain and count the vote of each county and legislative dis- 
trict and decide any contest that may be made concerning the same, 
and said decision shall be made by a majority of the whole number of 
members of the house of representatives concurring therein, by a viva 
voce vote, which shall be recorded in its jourunal; Provided, In case 
the two highest candidates have an equal number of votes in any coun- 
ty or legislative district, the electoral vote of such county or legisla- 
tive district shall be considered as equally divided between them. The 
person found to have received a majority of all the electoral votes, and 
also a majority of the popular vote, shall be declared elected. 

The Lieutenant Governor is elected at the same time, in the 
same manner, and for the same term as the Governor. 4 

The Secretary of State is elected for a term of four years. 
The constitution requires that he shall be keeper of the capitol, 
shall keep a correct register of all official acts and proceedings 
of the governor, and shall, when required, lay the same and all 
papers, minutes, and vouchers relative thereto, before the legis- 

4 Art. V, Sec. 128, Const. 1890. 


lature. It is also required by the constitution that he perform 
such other duties as may be required of him by law. 5 

The State Treasurer and the Auditor of Public Accounts are 
elected for a term of four years and are ineligible immediately 
to succeed themselves or each other in office. 6 

The State Librarian by provision of the constitution is 
chosen by the legislature on joint vote of the two houses. The 
term of office for the state librarian is four years. Any woman, 
a resident of the state for four years, and who has attained the 
age of twenty years, is eligible to the office. 7 

Besides the elective offices provided for in the constitution 
the state legislature has from time to time provided state offices 
which are filled by popular election. It will suffice to call at- 
tention briefly to these offices. 

The Railroad Commission is constituted of three commis- 
sions, one elected from each supreme court district to serve four 
years. 8 

Three Penitentiary Trustees are elected, one from each su- 
preme court district, to serve four years. Important powers 
are vested by law in the hands of the board of trustees of the 
state penitentiary. 9 

The State Board of Bank Examiners is composed of three 
members one elected from each supreme court district No per- 
son may become a candidate for State Bank Examiner until he 
has passed satisfactorily an examination given by the State Bank 
Commissioners. 10 Bank Examiners may succeed themselves in 
office any number of terms for which they may be elected. 

The State Land Commissioner is elected as other state offi- 
cers .are at the general election held every four years. His 
duties are prescribed in detail by the law. 11 

•Art. V, Sec. 133, Const. 1890. 

•Art. V, Sec. 134, Const. 1890. 

T Art. 4, Sec. 106, Const. 1890; see also Ch. 130, Code 1906. 

8 Code of 1906, Sec. 4140 

•Code of 1906, Ch. 107, Sees. 3589-3680, inclusive. 

"Laws of 1914, Ch. 124, S. B. 48, Sees. 2-5, inclusive; see also, Ch. Ill, 

infra, Guaranteeing Bank Deposits. 
"Code 1906, Ch. 77, Sees. 2904-2949, inclusive. 


The State Revenue Agent is elected for a term of four 
years. The office was provided for by the laws of 1894 12 and 
has been retained since that time. 13 This officer is charged 
with the duty of collecting unpaid taxes or past due obligations 
of any other character due the state. Through his activities 
during recent years large sums of money have' been turned into 
the state treasury. 

The State Insurance Commissioner, the chief officer of the 
State Department of Insurance, is elected for a term of four 
years. As chief officer of the Department of Insurance the In- 
surance Commissioner is charged with the execution of all laws 
in force relative to all insurance, including indemnity or guar- 
antee and other companies, corporations, associations or orders 
doing business within the state. 14 

The Attorney General of the state, elected for a term of 
four years, is the chief law officer of the state. 15 It is his duty 
to represent the state in all suits by or against the state, to give 
legal advice to state officers, to the legislature, and to the boards 
of supervisors of the various counties upon request. Upon re- 
quest of the governor or other state officers, it is the duty of the 
attorney-general to prepare drafts of contracts, forms or other 
legal documents. 16 

The State Superintendent of Education is elected for a term 
of four years. There is no limit prescribed by law as to the 
number of successive terms the state superintendent may serve. 
The state superintendent has general supervision of the public 
free schools, and prescribes such rules and regulations for their 
efficient organization and conduct as he may deem necessary. 17 
The law requires that he preside over all meetings of the State 
Board of Education, and that he solicit reports from all the pub- 
lic and private educational institutions of the state. 18 It is his 

"Chapter 34. 

"Ch. 131, Sec. 4737, Code of 1906. 

"Code 1906, Ch 69, Sees. 2550, 2551, 2554. 

"Code 1906, Sec. 4140. 

"Ch. 10, Code 1906. 

"Code 1906, Sec. 4819. 



duty to apportion the state common school fund to the several 
counties and separate school districts. 19 He appoints the mem- 
bers of the State Board of Teachers' Examiners 20 and the mem- 
bers of the State Illiteracy Commission. 21 The State Superin- 
tendent of Education is an ex-officio member of the State Board 
of Education, the State Text-Book Commission, the State Geo- 
logical Survey Commission, the Board of Trustees for the State 
University and Colleges, 22 and the Board of Trustees of the 
State Normal College. 

The Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce is also 
elected by the people for a term of four years. The Depart- 
ment of Agriculture and Immigration was created by act of the 
legislature in 1906. 23 It is the duty of the Commissioner of 
Agriculture and Commerce to encourage the proper develop- 
ment of agriculture, horticulture and kindred industries, to col- 
lect and publish statistics and such other information as may be 
of benefit in developing the agricultural resources of the state, 
and to investigate and report on the question of broadening the 
market and demand for cotton and cotton goods in the United 
States and in foreign countries. 24 In addition to these duties, 
the legislature in 1912, and again in 1918, assigned other duties 
to the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce ; for in 1912 
the duty of issuing tax tags to manufacturers of fertilizers was 
transferred from the State Chemist to the State Department of 
Agriculture and Commerce, the State Chemist co-operating in 
this work; 25 and in 1918 the Commissioner of Agriculture and 
Commerce was charged with the duty of enforcing the terms of 
an act "to regulate dairies, creameries, milk and cream buying 
and skimming stations, and the sale and purchase of milk and 

"Code 1906, Sec. 4821. 

'•Laws 1896, Ch. 106; Code 1906, Sec. 4551. 

"Laws 1916, Ch. 110, Sec. 1. 

"The single board for the University, Industrial Institute and College, 

A. & M. College, and Alcorn A. & M. College (colored.) 
"Laws 1906, Ch. 102, Sees. 1-12. 

"Laws 1906, Sec. 9, Articles 1-14; Code 1906, Ch. 32, Sees. 1622-1632. 
"Laws 1912, Ch. 138, pp. 133-140. See Ch. VI, Agrl. Adm., infra 


cream and the by-products of the same, in the State of Missis- 
sippi." 28 

The Clerk of the Supreme Court is elected by popular vote 
every four years. 27 

The Governor's appointive power, as may be seen from the 
accompanying chart, 28 is larger than is usually supposed. He 
appoints the Adjutant General of the National Guard 29 and 
either all or a part of the personnel of more than a score of boards 
and commissions. 

The State Board of Health is composed of thirteen mem- 
bers. The Governor selects one physician from each of the eight 
congressional districts of the state and five physicians from the 
state at large. The physicians appointed to membership on the 
board from the congressional districts are selected upon such 
evidence of skill and fitness as may be satisfactory to the Gov- 
ernor; the five members selected from the state at large are ap- 
pointed upon the recommendation of the State Medical Asso- 
ciation. 30 The State Board of Health appoints the State Fac- 
tory Inspector, and the Board may remove the Factory Inspec- 
tor for cause. 31 The State Board of Health has under its con- 
trol the management of the State Tuberculosis Sanitarium; the 
superintendent of the sanitarium is appointed by the Board of 
Health. 32 

The State Board of Law Examiners consists of three mem- 
bers of the state bar one from each supreme court district, ap- 
pointed by the governor to serve a term of two years. 33 

The State Board of Pharmaceutical Examiners consists of 
five practicing pharmacists who are appointed by the governor 
and whose term of office expires with that of the governor ap- 
pointing them. 34 

"Laws 1918, Ch. 191, pp. 224-231 See Ch. VI, Agrl. Adm., infra. 

"Laws 1916, Ch. 99, Sec. 1. 

"At the beginning of this chapter. 

"Code 1906, Ch. 96, Sec. 3254. 

"'Code 1892, Ch. 60, pp. 569-572, Sec. 2267; Laws 1904, Ch. 150, p. 208. 

"Laws 1914, Ch. 163, p. 209 See Ch. V Public Health, infra. 

"Laws 1916, Ch. 79, pp. 146-148. See Ch. V, Public Health, infra. 

"Laws 1916, Ch. 107 Sec 1. 

"Code 1906, Ch. 109,' Sec. 3668. 


The State Board of Dental Examiners consists of five prac- 
ticing dentists who must be graduates of a reputable dental col- 
lege. They are appointed by the governor to serve four years. 35 

The State Board of Nurses' Examiners consists of five 
members appointed by the governor for a five-year term, one 
member being appointed each year. The law requires that 
four of the members of this board shall be graduate nurses and 
one a physician. 38 

The State Board of Veterinary Examiners consists of five 
members, two appointed by the governor and three by the State 
Veterinary Medical Association. Members of this board serve 
four years. 37 

The State Board of Bank Commissioners consisting of three 
members, and whose sole duty is that of examining candidates 
for State Bank Examiners, is selected in the following manner: 
one, a successful banker and business man, appointed by the gov- 
ernor ; one, an experienced accountant, appointed by the auditor 
of public accounts; one, an experienced lawyer, appointed by 
the attorney general, The bank commissioners serve four 
years. 38 

The Governor appoints the members of thirteen separate 
boards of trustees of educational and eleemosynary institutions, 
as follows: the Board of Trustees of the State University and 
Colleges (which includes the Industrial Institute and College, 
the A. & M. College, and the Alcorn A. & M„ College for ne- 
groes), the Board of Trustees of the State Normal College, the 
Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Industrial and Training 
School for delinquent children, and the boards of trustees, and 
in most instances the superintendent, of the Institute for Blind, 
of the institute for Deaf and Dumb, of the State Insane Asylum, 
of the East Mississippi Insane Hospital, of the Mattie Hersee 
Hospital, the Natchez Hospital, the State Charity Hospital at 
Jackson, the State Charity Hospital at Vicksburg and the State 

"Laws 1904, Ch. 145; Code 1906, Sec. 1609. 
" Laws 1914, Ch. 129, Sees 1 and 3. 
" Laws 1914, Ch. 130, Sec. 2. 
"•Laws 1914, Ch. 124, Sec. 4. 


Charity Hospital of South Mississippi, and of the Beauvior Con- 
federate Home. 

The governor appoints the members of the boards of trus- 
tees of the two levee districts of the state, namely, the Yazoo-Mis- 
sissippi Delta Levee District, and the Mississippi Levee District. 
In making these appointments the governor is confined to the 
counties contained within the districts. 39 

The governor appoints the members of the State Board of 
Oyster Commissioners, 40 the Board of Pardons, 41 the State 
Board of Tax Commissioners, 42 the State Highway Commis- 
sion, 43 the State Text-book Commission, 44 two of the five mem- 
bers of; the State Livestock Sanitary Board, 45 and five of the 
seven members of the State Board of Embalming. 46 

The State Highway Engineer is named by the State High- 
way Commission. 47 

The State Geologist is appointed by the Mississippi Geologi- 
cal Survey Commission. 48 

The State Superintendent of Education, as has been noted, 49 
appoints the members of the State Board of Teachers' Exam- 
iners and the members of the State Illiteracy Commission. 

The Director of the State Department of Archives and His-- 
tory is appointed by the Board of Trustees of that department, 
which board consists of nine members and is self perpetuating. 

There are ten important ex-officio offices, boards and com- 
missions in the administrative organization of the state. The 
Board of Trustees of the State Library consists of the Governor, 

** For the one exception to this rule, see Const. 1890, Sec. 230; See 
Art 11, Sections 227-239, Const. 1890. 

40 Laws 1902, Ch. 58; Code 1906, Ch. 102, Sec. 3489. 
« Laws 1916, p 138. 

41 Laws 1916, p.* 97; Laws 1918, p. 287. 
"Laws 1916, p. 232. 

44 Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec 4594. 

48 Laws 1908, p. 96. 

48 Laws 1918, Ch. 223, p. 279. 

4T Laws 1916, p. 232. 

48 Laws 1906, Ch. Ill; Code 1906, Ch. 59, Sec. 2362. 

"Supra p. 11. 


Supreme Court Judges, and Attorney General; 50 the Board of 
Election Commissioners of the Governor, Secretary of State, and 
Attorney General ; 51 the State Board of Education, of the Super- 
intendent of Education, Secretary of State, and Attorney Gen- 
eral; 52 the Capitol Commission of the Governor, Secretary of 
State, and Insurance Commissioner; 53 the State Board of Con- 
tracts of the Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Auditor 
of Public Accounts; 54 the State Plant Board of the Commis- 
sioner of Agriculture and Commerce, the Director of State Ex- 
periment Stations, and Entomologist of the A. & M. College ; 55 
the Mississippi Geological Survey Commission of the Governor, 
Superintendent of Education, Director of the Department of 
Archives and History, the Chancellor of the State University, 
and the President of the A. & M. College ; 56 the State Livestock 
Sanitary Board of the Governor, Attorney General, Commis- 
sioner of Agriculture and Commerce, the Professor of Animal 
Husbandry of the A. & M. College, the Professor of Veterinary 
Science of the A. & M. College, and two members appointed by 
the Governor; 57 the State Board of Embalming of the Execu- 
tive Officer of the State Board of Health, the Director of the 
Bureau of Vital Statistics of the State Board of Health, and five 
members appointed by the Governor. 58 The Professor of Chem- 
istry at the A. & M. College, is ex-officio State Chemist. 59 

Centralization in government in the United States has not 
as a rule been as pronounced in state administration as in fed- 
eral administration and in town and city administration. Yet 
within recent years much centralization of administration has 
occurred in state government. In the state of Mississippi where 
there are no large cities the chief problem of public adminis- 

M Code 1906, Sec. 4723. 

a Code 1906, Ch. 119, Sec. 4107. 

a Const. 1890, Art. 8, Sec. 203; 1869, Art. VIII, Sec. 3. 

83 Laws 1904 Ch. 109. 

M Co<Je'l906, Sec. 284; Const. 1890, Sec. 107. 

" Laws 1918, p 270. 

M Laws 1906, Ch. Ill; Code 1906, Ch. 59, Sec. 2362. 

w Laws 1908, p. 96; Laws 1910, Ch. 227, p. 226, Gov. and Atty. Genl. 

■■ Laws 1918, Ch. 223, p. 279. 
» Laws 1882, Ch. XXIV, pp. 44-47, Sec. 1; Code 1906, Ch 51, p. 696. 


tration is that of state administration. It can not be said that 
there has been any noticeable tendency toward centralization of 
the state administration. The governor has eight important 
powers, namely, (1) to veto bills, (2) to adjourn the legislature, 
(3) to convene the legislature, (4) to suspend certain officers, 60 

(5) to require information from officers of any executive de- 
partment of the state on any subject relating to that office, 

(6) to grant pardons, (7) to command the armed forces of the 
state, (8) to appoint certain officers of the state government. 
In the exercise of his duty to see that the laws are faithfully 
executed, the governor is able to wield considerable power. 

The organization of county government in Mississippi is simi- 
lar to that in the other states of the union, and especially to 
other southern states. From the time of the organization of 
the state it has been divided into counties; in 1919 there are 
eighty-two counties. The county is merely a sub-division of the 
state for the convenience of administration, subordinate always 
to the state and under the control of the state legislature. 

Each county is divided into five supervisors' districts, or 
beats, numbered from first to fifth. The supervisors ' districts, 
or beats, are sub-divided into smaller parts, called voting pre- 
cincts. For educational purposes each county is surveyed and 
laid off into townships — square blocks six miles on the side. The 
townships are subdivided into sections, numbered from one to 
thirty-six, beginning at the northeast corner of each township. 61 

The officers of the counties are as follows : Board of Super- 
visors, one elected from each of the five supervisors districts, tax 
assessor, sheriff, treasurer, chancery clerk, circuit clerk, super- 
intendent of education, coroner and ranger, surveyor. 62 For 
each beat, or district, there are two officers, namely, the justice 
of the peace and the constable Each is elected by the voters of 
his own beat, and holds office for four years. 

The municipalities in Mississippi are classed according to 

" Judges; state or county treasurer or tax collector charged with 

a See A. H. Ellett, The Federal Union and Mississippi, p. 178. 
** Office of County Attorney optional with counties. 


the number of inhabitants in each, as follows: Those having 
two thousand or more inhabitants are called cities ; those having 
from three hundred to two thousand, towns ; those having from 
one hundred to three hundred, villages. 63 In general the offi- 
cers of a municipality in Mississippi are the mayor, aldermen, 
marshal or policemen, tax collector, treasurer, city clerk, street 
commissioner, and judge or judges of the police court. 64 

The state executive organization of Mississippi as it stands 
is the result of a gradual development. New offices and boards 
have been created from time to time as the exigencies of the 
situation seemed to demand or justify. The results are patent. 
Offices and boards have been multiplied ; in some instances over- 
lapping of functions of departments has resulted; in other in- 
stances the desired cooperation in the work of related depart- 
ments has not been attained. The idea of popular election of 
state officers has been carried to a ridiculous extreme. 65 Every 
four years the electorate is called upon to select officers for fif- 
teen separate state offices. Add to this the list of local offices 
to be filled by popular election and the perplexity of the situa- 
tion is readily apparent. The multiplicity of elective officers 
usually results in the attention of the voters being directed to 
the one or two important offices with little attention to the 
others. Instead of the fitness of the candidates for office being 
of paramount importance, these offices are filled in a haphazard 
manner with little or no attention to personal qualifications for 
the duties of particular offices. Either appointment by the 
proper authorities with restrictions if need be as to choice based 
upon qualifications, or restriction on candidates, by qualifying 
examination for example, if the elective method is to be retained 
seems in the interest of good government imperative. By and 
large, a better plan than the loose-jointed one in vogue at pres- 
ent may be summed up : short-ballot methods for the elective of- 

■ Laws 1900, Ch. 70; Code 1906, Ch. 99, Sec. 3299. 

** City Health Officer in a few municipalities. 

68 Another elective office, that of State Game and Fish Commissioner, 
was provided in 1916. The first Commissioner was to have been 
elected in 1919; but the office was abolished by referendum. See 
Laws 1916, Ch 99, pp. 100-105. 


ficers; appointment upon proved merit of officers whose duties 
are of a technical administrative sort rather than of a policy 
determining nature. 

Fewer elected state officers and where practicable a con- 
solidation of departments in the state executive organization 
would make for more unity and a greater degree of efficiency 
and economy in the administration of the state government. 

Of the present fifteeen elective state offices six might be 
selected by appointment, namely, the State Land Commissioner, 
State Revenue Agent, Insurance Commissioner, the Railroad 
Commissioners, the Penitentiary Trustees, and the Clerk of the 
Supreme Court. This would leave to be filled by direct vote of 
the people the following state offices: Governor, Lieutenant 
Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, State 
Treasurer, Attorney General, Superintendent of Education, and 
Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce. No change in the 
constitution would be necessary in order to bring about such 
change in plans in the selection of officers. 

The enactment of legislation looking toward a plan of reor- 
ganization in the executive branches of the state government by 
which there would be some consolidation of departments, accord- 
ing to logically related functions, would be in the interest of 
better state administration. A study of the functions of the 
existing departments shows that consolidation could be effected 
on the basis of related functions. 60 The precise form which the 
administrative organiztion would assume under any plan of 
consolidation of departments would of necessity be determined 
by the history and the current functions of the various depart- 

It is not the purpose of this study of public administra- 
tion in Mississippi to take up the work of every department of 
state government, but rather to examine certain of the more 

" E. g., practically all the functions of the state government might 
logically fall within the following classification: finance; banking 
and insurance; health; agriculture; public works; charities and 
corrections; education; military affairs; elections; with a mini- 
mum of separate departments, such as a Legislative Reference 
Bureau, for instance. 


important branches of the state administration and to point 
out the places where centralization of administration has taken 
place with an estimate of the results of such development. The 
subjects that will be treated are public education, banking, taxa- 
tion, public health, and agriculture. 




1. Historical 

The first fundamental law of Mississippi, the Constitution 
of 1817, sanctioned education. Although there was entire ab- 
sence of anything approaching a school system during the terri- 
torial period, this first constitution of Mississippi 1 reproduced 
almost verbatim a part of the Ordinance of 1787 and declares that 
"Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good 
government, the preservation of liberty, and the happiness of 
mankind, schools, and the means of education, shall forever be 
encouraged in this State." It is perhaps not incorrect to say 
that this Ordinance of 1787 marks the beginning of public edu- 
cation in Mississippi, for as has been said, 2 this provision 
"sounded the key-note, and gave direction to most of the States 
of the Union, in this regard." Although many years were to 
elapse before the state of Mississippi was to have an organized 
system of public education, it augured for the best that the 
makers of her first constitution should accept the principle laid 
down in a document to which Daniel Webster referred when he 
said 3 

But this ordinance did that which was not so common, and which 
is not even now universal; that is, it set forth and declared as a high 
and binding duty of government itself, to encourage, schools and ad- 
vance the means of education; for the plain reason that religion, 
morality and knowledge are necessary to good government, and to the 
happiness of mankind. 

To say that there was an entire absence of a school system 
in Mississippi during the territorial period does not, however, 
mean that no effort had been made prior to 1817 to establish 
educational institutions. Quite the contrary is true. Under the 

1 Article VI, Section 16, Constitution of Miss., 1817. 

* Lowry & McCardle, History of Miss., p. 417. 

* Ibid., pp. 417-418, In the discussion of this ordinance in the Senate 
of the United States in 1830 in reply to Mr. Hayne, of South Caro- 
lina, on the "Foote" resolutions. 


Spanish regime nothing was done for the education of the peo- 
ple, and little came of the early efforts of the Americans under 
the leadership of Governor Sargent and the judges, 4 who had 
been appointed to take charge of territorial affairs immediately 
after the withdrawal of the Spanish government in 1798. But 
in spite of the fact that the country was in a very unsettled 
state, and that the people were giving the major portion of their 
time to resisting the aggressions and tyranny of the first terri- 
torial governor, they did not wholly overlook the importance of 
schools. "On the 23rd day of December, 1799, Mr. Sewall pre- 
sented to Congress a letter from Governor Sargent, inclosing a 
memorial from the inhabitants of Natchez, praying for legisla- 
tive aid in the establishment of a seminary; also a petition of 
John Henderson and others, inhabitants of Natchez, praying the 
aid and patronage of Congress in the establishment of a regular 
ministry of gospel, and schools for the youth." 5 

No aid came from the federal government until 1803, when 
an act of Congress providing for ' ' the sale of land south of Ten- 
nessee/' excepted, "section No. 16, which shall be reserved in 
each township, for the support of schools within the same.'*' 6 
Meritorious as "one of the inducements for people to adventure 
to the wild lands and build up new communities," 7 this act of 
Congress did not result in immediate benefits to Mississippi Ter- 
ritory in solving her early educational problems. Individual en- 
terprise was responsible for the establishment of the first public 
school system in the territory when in 1801 "the first public 
female school ' ' was started in Natchez by the Rev. David Ker, a 
Presbyterian minister and a native of Ireland. 8 

Jefferson College another pioneer institution of the terri- 
torial period, began active work in 1811. The institution had 

4 The governor and the three judges, or any three of them, were 
authorized to frame for the Territory laws like those of the States 
then belonging to the Union. But, see, Riley, History of Miss., 
pp. 95-96. 

8 Mayes, History of Education in Miss., p 23. Also, Annals of Con- 
gress, sixth session, House of Representatives. 

• Rowland, Ency. Miss. Hist., Vol. II, pp. 669-670. 

T Ibid 

8 Mayes, History of Education in Miss., p. 23. 


been chartered in 1802 by the territorial legislature, but no 
funds had been granted as by the terms of the charter the insti- 
tution was "to be supported by voluntary contributions, to 
which end the trustees were authorized to receive donations from 
citizens and others, and to raise a sum of money by lottery/' 9 
The act of the territorial legislature in chartering this educa- 
tional institution, even though no funds were appropriated, was 
encouraging to those interested in laying the foundation of an 
educational system. "It is noteworthy, ' ' says Judge Mayes, 
"that not only was this the first institution of learning estab- 
lished by authority of the State, but also that its charter was the 
first act of incorporation for any purpose in Mississippi" 10 
The institution is still in existence. 

With sparse settlement characterizing practically every 
community of the territory, especially the eastern section, it is 
not surprising that only ' ' eight educational and literary institu- 
tions were chartered by the legislature in the territorial 
period. ' ni 

Under the first constitution of the state substantial progress 
was made, and a study of the development along educational 
lines during the first period of statehood, 1817 to 1832, reveals 
by no means an inconsiderable interest by the people in matters 
pertaining to the establishment of schools. Education as a gov- 
ernmental undertaking was still viewed to a great extent as a 
charity, rather than a public duty. Although the first constitu- 
tion of the state sanctioned education it did not place upon the 
legislators the duty of providing any means of education. How- 
ever this may be, the first legislature elected after the formation 
of the state government was called upon to provide for the or- 
ganization and administration of schools under the trust fund 
accruing from the sixteenth sections of land which had been 
granted to the states by an act of Congress in 1803. "In 1815 
congress authorized the territorial county courts to appoint five 

• Mayes, p. 25. 

10 Mayes, p. 25. 

u Four of these in Wilkinson County and one each in Adams, Amite, 
Claiborne, and Jefferson. Riley, School History of Miss., p. 130* 
See also, Hutchinson's Code of Miss. pp. 245-247. 


agents to lease the 16th sections in each county, the leases to 
expire January 1 after the admission of the Territory as a 
State." 12 Mississippi was admitted to the Union by an act of 
Congress approved December 10, 1817 and so the leases which 
had been made by the territorial authorities expired January 1, 
1818. The new state legislature passed a statute in 1818 provid- 
ing that the justices of the county court should ' ' take charge of 
the lands given by the United States to the State of Mississippi, 
in their counties respectively, and provide for the erection of 
one or more schools, as they may deem right and useful." 13 
The law authorized the justices to lease the lands for a period 
not exceeding three years, and they were also called upon to 
protect the lands against waste of soil and timber, 14 

For six years the county justices remained the adminis- 
trative officers of the sixteenth section school funds, but under 
the provisions of a law passed by the state legislature in 1824 
each township wherein lands were reserved was authorized to 
elect a board of trustees to "take into consideration the situa- 
tion of the school sections and how to apply the money arising 
from the lease or rents of the same. ' ' 15 These trustees were to 
protect the lands from waste, and rent them for a term not ex- 
ceeding five years. 

In 1821, upon the recommendation of Governor Poindexter, 
the legislature established a "literary fund." This fund was 
established for the specific purpose of educating the poor chil- 
dren of the state. Governor Poindexter had requested the legis- 
lature to create "a Literary Fund, to be raised by a moderate 
county tax annually, with three commissioners in each county, 
to educate poor orphan children and care for the fund, so that 
it might accumulate to permanent capital for the maintenance 
of schools." 16 The fund was to be built up by money received 
from "all escheats, confiscations, forfeitures, and all personal 
property accruing to the State as derelict," all fines not other- 

u Rowland, Ency Miss. History, Vol. II, p. 670. 

u Ibid. 

" Ibid. 

" Rowland, Ency. Miss. History, Vol. II, p. 670. 

u Ibid., p. 611; Governor's message. 


wise appropriated, and unclaimed estates. Added to this was a 
state tax equal to one-sixth of the general levy, and besides, 
taxes against non-residents were appropriated to the fund. The 
law did not long retain its place as the first state tax for schools, 
for that part of the law which provided for the six per cent tax 
was repealed by the legislature of January, 1823. The money 
collected from this source was refunded to the counties. 17 

From the administrative point of view, after 1821 there were 
two separate agencies, viz., the trustees of the literary fund, and 
the township trustees of the school lands. To administer the 
literary fund "the governor and certain other State officers, 
presiding judge of the supreme court, chancellor, and three 
appointees, were to be incorporated as President and Directors 
of the Literary Fund." 18 They could appoint an agent in each 
county, and five school commissioners; were to send a commit- 
tee once a year to inspect all educational institutions, and see 
that the teachers in the seminaries were qualified to teach the 
Greek and Latin languages; and were to "impress upon the 
minds of the children and youth committed to their care and 
instruction, the principles of piety, justice . . . and those 
other virtues which are the ornament of human society and the 
basis upon which the republican constitution is structured/' 19 

By a law of 1829 the trustees of the school lands were 
authorized to establish as many schools in each township as they 
deemed necessary, the rent from the school lands to be appor- 
tioned according to the school enrollment. 20 In 1830 by pur- 
chase and trade the United States acquired the lands of the 
Choctaws in the state. As a result all the state, except the area 
held by the Chickasaws, was being opened to settlement. By 
paying the regulr price of public lands the holdings of the 
Chickasaws came under control of the United States in 1832. The 
result of these acquisitions on the administration of education 
will be examined presently in the discussion of the period from 
1832 to the beginning of the civil war. 

1T Ibid., p. 612. 

18 Rowland, Ency. Miss. History, Vol. II, pp. 611-612 

■ Ibid., p. 612, quoted by Rowland. 

" Rowland, Ency. Miss. History Vol. II, p. 670. 


Of the secondary schools established in Mississippi during 
this period 1817 to 1832 one is noteworthy. In 1821, antedating 
by twenty-four years any other free school of permanent estab- 
ishment in Mississippi, the Franklin Academy was established 
at Columbus. This school was from the time of its establish- 
ment a sixteenth section school. At present it is a part of the 
general public school system. ' ' The school, ' ' says Dr. Rowland, 
1 * is particularly notable as an instance of what might have been 
obtained generally from a proper use of the proceeds of the Six- 
teenth Sections. ' ' 21 

Advancement of higher education was likewise slow during 
this early period of Mississippi history " Owing to the par- 
tiality of the people of Mississippi to the older colleges of the 
other states, higher institutions for the education of young men 
did not prosper in this period These difficulties did not affect 
the growth of schools for the higher education of young women. ' ' 
Such is the explanation offered by Dr. Riley. 22 Elizabeth 
Female Academy was chartered in 1819. Judge Mayes says of 
the Elizabeth Female Academy 23 

This institution was a school celebrated in its day for the thor- 
oughness of its work and for its large measure of success. Although 
extinct since about 1843 ,it is still memorable because of several facts. 
It was not only the first school at which girls were received to be in- 
corporated in the territory of Mississippi; it was the first to be incor- 
porated by the state after its admission into the Union. It was the first 
school designed exclusively for girls to be incorporated by either the 
Territorial or the State legislatures. It was the first in Mississippi or 
any Gulf State to aspire to and achieve the dignity of a college in fact, 
although not in name, and it was the first fruits of Protestant denomi- 
national work in all the extreme South. 

Mississippi College, at Clinton, was incorporated as the 
Hampstead Academy in 1826. Although never a state-sup- 
ported institution, it received some aid from the state legisla- 
lature and at one time it aspired to be a state institution. 24 
In 1830 Oakland College, now extinct, was established 
in Claiborne County by the Presbyterian church. 25 In 

"Rowland Enc. Miss., History, Vol. I, p. 743. 
M Riley, School History of Miss. p. 175. 
** Mayes, Hist, of Education in Miss., p. 38. 

* Riley, School Hist, of Miss., p. 176. 

* Mayes, p. 63. 


all, between 1817 and 1832 twenty-nine schools and literary asso- 
ciations were incorporated by the legislature. 26 

The constitutional provision sanctioning education which 
had been made a part of the first fundamental law of Missis- 
sippi 27 was reproduced without the slightest change in the con- 
stitution of 1832. 28 If this did not denote progress, neither 
did it indicate lack of interest. Two things of importance had oc- 
curred about this time. On September 28, 1830, the treaty of 
Dancing Rabbit Creek was concluded between the tribe of Choc- 
taw Indians and the United States, in which the Indians ceded 
the residue of their lands in Mississippi. Secondly, on the 20th 
and 22nd of October, 1832, by provision of a treaty between the 
United States and the Chickasaw tribe of Indians the Chicka- 
saw lands became incorporated in the state. As a result of these 
two treaties the entire state was opened for settlement. In 1830 
the population of the state was 136,000 ; the population doubled 
in the following decade ; and twenty years after the first of these 
treaties (1850) the population of the state was 606,050. 29 After 
this accession to the population the average community in the 
state was no longer in a wholly isolated condition as had been the 
case in the earlier period of the state. Economic conditions in 
the state were rapidly improving; villages and rural communi- 
ties were springing up in sections which had formerly been un- 
settled or very sparsely settled. No social organization had been 
possible under the old conditions but with the great increase in 
population an additional impetus was given to all matters per- 
taining to the welfare of the communities. The cause of educa- 
tion was " benefited materially, and we are told that ' ' schools 
and academies were incorporated in almost every county then 
organized, and the standard of the earlier institutions made 
-higher." 30 

A committe which had been appointed on authority of the 
legislature, by Governor Brandon in 1829? "to inquire into all 

* Riley, p. 175. 

* Art. VI, Sec. 16, Constitution of 1817. 
M Art. VII, Sec. 14, Constitution of 1832. 

" Lowry and McCardle, History of Miss., p. 420. 
30 Lowry and McCardle, Hist, of Miss., pp.* 420-421. 


the means and resources of this state which may or can be ap- 
plied to the purposes of a general system of education . . . 
suited to the various local interests of the citizens ' ' submitted a 
report to a committee of the House in 1830. The report stated 
that primary schools were taught in order "to lessen the wide 
gap between the educated and the ignorant, and as placing it in 
the power of all to become acquainted with and consequently 
appreciate the rights, privileges and blessings of an American 
citizen." 31 The committee did not approve making an appro- 
priation to a school fund, but they favored a revival and contin- 
uation of the Literary Fund. The history of the Literary Fund 
subsequent to the constitution of 1832 is of interest. 

It will be recalled that an act of the legislature of Novem- 
ber 26, 1821 had provided for the literary fund. 32 Five years 
later the fund amounted to $8,844, "mostly loaned out at ten 
per cent." 33 Governor Brandon's suggestion that the fund be 
invested in 120 shares of stock in the Bank of Mississippi was 
adopted. Accordingly in 1830 $30,000 had been invested in 
bank stock, and in 1836 the auditor reported that "the literary 
and seminary funds had been invested in over one thousand 
shares of Planters Bank stock, which could be disposed of for 
more than $100,000. 34 The accumulated literary fund was lost 
in the collapse of the bank, 35 and the act of 1839 appropriating 
fines and forfeitures in the several counties to certain academies 
within the counties stopped the sources of the fund. 

A complete account of the handling of the income derived, 
or which should have been derived, from the federal grants of 
land included in the 16th section grants, the seminary fund, and 
the Chickasaw fund is not within the purpose of this discussion. 
To the extent only that these problems were a part of the actual 
administration of schools of the state are they here taken into 
account. The administration of the sixteenth section lands down 

a Rowland, Ency. Miss. History, Vol. II, p. 612. 

" Supra, p. 23. 

83 Rowland, Ency. Miss. History, Vol. II, p. 612. 

* Ibid., p. 613. 

"See chapter on banking, infra., p. 160. 


to the civil war period is described by Dr. Rowland as follows : 36 

The system of short leases was abandoned under the act of legis- 
lature of February 27, 1833, which provided that when the majority of 
the resident heads of families in any township requested it, the school 
land trustees should lease the section for 99 years to the highest bid. 
der, it being permitted to lease in lots of not less than eighty acres. 
Where the township did not have a sufficient population to have a 
board of trustees, the county board of police might lease the section. 
The leases were to be made on a credit of one, two, three and four 
years, the purchasers to give notes payable to the trustees, who were 
required when the notes were paid, to "appropriate the amount so 
collected to the purpose of education in the township where the lands 
w re located. The law was admirably adapted to destroy all hope of 
revenue from the school lands for the period of ninety-nine years. In 
1836 authority was given to loan the proceeds to private persons or 
invest same in any solvent bank. In 1841 the school section trustees 
were authorized to sell the depreciated bank paper in their nanus at 
public auction. A law of 1842 authorized the trustees or county judge 
of probate to compromise or rescind all leases or other contracts for the 
sixteenth sections, or purchase for the township under the liens re- 
tained. In 1846 Governor Brown said the leasing system had not 
worked well. A very small fraction of the 1,100 sections were 
well managed. Some were leased and the money not collected; 
in many instances the proceeds had been collected and squandered, and 
"in the fewest number of instances have there been free schools kept 
by the proceeds." Lowndes county is distinguished as one that has 
maintained schools on this land since 1821. The common school law 
of 1846 provided that the county treasurer should open an account for 
each township, entering a credit for the principal and interest arising 
from the lease of the 16th section, the principal to remain a permanent 
fund, the interest thereon to be used for township education; but this 
requirement was made valueless by a proviso that upon protest of a 
majority of the heads of families, the control of the fund should be left 
with the township trustees. 

On the whole, the administration of the lands granted by 
the federal government for aiding the state in establishing the 
means of education had down to the civil war been of such 
character as to preclude the possibility of any considerable im- 
provement. In the handling of the income from the federal 
grants there was displayed many forms of incompetence, not to 
mention the evident dishonesty that frequently characterized 
the acts of those charged with collecting and applying these 
funds. 37 

* Ency. Miss. History, Vol. II, p. 671. 

"See, Sixteenth Sections, Ency. Miss. History, Vol. II, pp. 669-673; 

Chickasaw Fund, Ibid., Vol I, pp. 408-410; also, Seminary Fund, 

Ibid., Vol. II, pp 638-640. 


During the period 1832 to 1860 the leading advocate of a 
system of public education was Albert Gallatin Brown 38 who 
was elected governor of the state in 1843 on the repudiation-of- 
Union-bank-bonds ticket. In a pre-election speech Mr. Brown 
urged "the establishment of schools in which every poor white 
child in the country may secure, free of charge, the advantages 
of a libeal education." 39 On January 10, 1844, Governor 
Brown in delivering before the legislature his inaugural ad- 
dress "pleaded with great eloquence for a general system of 
common schools which should be open to all and at which the 
poor should be educated gratis. ' H0 In his message to the legis- 
lature January 6, 1864, he said : 41 

What would we think of a man who had built a ship and sent her 
upon a distant and perilous sea, laden with rich and costly goods with- 
out insurance? Yet we have erected a government, laden with price- 
less jewels of liberty and cast it upon the uncertain elements of public 
opinion untempered as yet by the hallowed influence of education and 
shall we still refuse the safety of that government by refusing to con- 
tribute to the only means that give it safely, — to the education of its 
people? The rich may say, 'We have no interest in the educatiou 
of the poor!' There could be no greater or (more) fatal error. Pride, 
the love of offspring, the ephemeral pleasures of witnessing the tree of 
youth nurtured by our care as it expands andi grows and ripens into 
manhood — these teach the rich to educate their own children, but the 
higher consideration of patriotism, the holier cause of religion and 
morality, the pure and unstained love of human happiness, teach them 
to educate the poor. 

In another part of the message Governor Brown said "that 
the Sixteenth sections set apart by a wise enactment of Congress 
for school purposes, had been most shamefully neglected " ; 42 of 
the ten or twelve hundred sections of school lands under the con- 
trol of the citizens of the townships not one hundred sections had 
been well managed. Failing to impress the first legislature 
which met after his election of the importance of providing for a 
school system, Governor Brown was more successful in his next 

"A 1 biographical sketch of A. G. Brown will be found in Ency. Miss. 

History, Vol. I, pp. 310-319. 
w Mayes, Hist, of Education in Miss. Ch. XV, p. 278. 
"Message of Governor Brown to legislature, Jan. 6, 1846. Also see 

Publications Miss. Historical Society, Vol. XII, pp. 74-75, Miss Elsie 

42 Lowry and McCardle, School History of Miss. pp. 422. 


efforts; and on March 4, 1846, the first state school law was 
passed. After his unsuccessful attempts to secure the pass- 
age of a law providing for schools, Governor Brown began an ac- 
tive campaign in the state designed to bring about popular de- 
mand for the establishment of common schools. He called upon 
the presidents of the boards of police of the different counties 
to make full inquiries in regard to the management, status, 
and fruits of the sixteenth sections; and he requested Judge 
James S. B. Thatcher, of the high court of errors and appeals 
to devise a scheme of public education. That Governor Brown 
had not worked in vain is shown not only by the passage of the 
law of 1846, but also by the fact that in some counties the elec- 
tion of delegates to the State convention turned upon the point 
of the establishment of public free schools. 43 

The main provisions of the school law of 1846 are as fol- 
lows : 44 

The boards of county police in their respective counties were re- 
quired to appoint a board of school commissioners to consist of five 
members, one from each police district. The school commissioners 
were required to meet quarterly at their respective court houses, to 
elect from their number a president and a secretary, and were author- 
ized to adopt by-laws, also to designate what schools should be deemed 
common schools, and to have the general superintendence of them. 
They were also authorized to license teachers for such schools. Such 
teachers were authorized to draw from the county school fund such 
compensation as should have been contracted for between themselves 
and the commissioners. The boards of police were empowered to levy 
special taxes for common-school purposes, provided the consent of a 
majority of the resident heads of families in each township should be 
given in writing before such levy should be made on the inhabitants 
of such township. All escheats and fines, forfeitures and amerce- 
ments, and all moneys arising from licenses granted to hawkers and 
peddlers, keepers of billiard tables, retailers of liquor, and brokers, 
together with the special taxes aforesaid, were set apart for the school^ 
fund in the respective counties. The sixteenth section funds were or- 
dered to be delivered by the trustees to the commissioners, and they 
were required to see that the sections still on hand should be leased, 
all of the sixteenth section funds and income being kept so that each 
township should receive its own, as before. The commissioners were 
further required to make full reports semi-annually to the secretary 
of state, who was made, ex-officio, general school commissioner of the 

"Resolutions of a meeting of the citizens of the Democratic party 

June 10 t 1845, in Wilkinson county. See Mayes, p. 279. 
"See Mayes, pp. 279-280 


state, and required to register such reports and to publish abstracts of 

The act of the legislature in passing this, the first common 
school law in the state was enthusiastically approved by the lead- 
ing people of all parts of the state. But when it was found 
that certain provisions of the law were of such nature as to ren- 
der the plan for a state-wide common school system impotent, 
if not impossible, the enthusiasm of many turned to criticism and 
denunciation. Among the specific criticisms of the law, the fol- 
lowing were conspicuous. It was contended that any township 
could nullity the law by a simple protest; that even where the 
township did not thus positively nullify the statute, the taxing 
power was made conditional on the assent, expressily given, of a 
majority of the heads of families, and that such assent in the ma- 
jority of instances would not be given ; that the statute was puz- 
zling and ambiguous, in that it did not repeal all the previous 
acts on the subject of education, for it only repealed such of these 
as were in conflict with its provisions. In addition to these ob- 
jections it was asserted by many that "the contending political 
parties, in their factious controversies, had sacrificed a nonpoliti- 
cal and vital interest, which each professed to uphold." 45 

Although not attended with a great degree of success it 
would not be correct to say that this first school law was entire- 
ly without effect. Some actual good was accomplished under 
the law; much potential good was contained in its provisions. 

When the legislature met in 1848 Governor Brown called 
attention to the fact that the common-school law which had been 
passed in the previous session had "not fulfilled the anticipa- 
tions of its friends.' ' He requested the immediate repeal of the 
law, and the substitution therefor of an act "more in accord- 
ance with the suggestions contained in my message at the open- 
ing of the session in 1846. ' ' 48 

Governor Brown had served in Congress two years (1839- 
1841) previous to his election as governor, and before the close of 

"Mayes, Hist of Education in Miss., Ch. XV., p. 280. 
"Message to the legislature Jan. 3, 1848. 


his second term as governor he was again elected to Congress, 
where he took his seat in January 1848, a few days after submit- 
ting his last message to the state legislature. The legislature of 
1848 did not adopt the plan which Governor Brown had suggested 
in his message of 1846 and which he had urged upon that body 
again in his message of January 1848. The local self-govern- 
ment principle was deeply rooted in the minds of the legislators ; 
it had been chiefly responsible for the proviso in the law of 1846 
which exempted any township from the operation of the law 
if a majority of the heads of families should file a written pro- 
test with the clerk of the police board on or before March first 
in each year. 47 The educational statutes passed by the legis- 
lature of 1848 added to the confusion which had come as a re- 
sult of the common-school law adopted by the previous session. 
Speaking of the legislature of 1848 Judge Mayes says : 48 ' ' That 
body seems to have gone to pieces on the subject of education, 
and the result of their labors was no less than four distinct 
statutes, all approved on the 4th of March, 1848, and all de- 
vising different plans. One statute applied only to six coun- 
ties; the second, to five counties; the third, to seven counties; 
the fourth, to seventeen. As to all other counties in the state, 
except the thirty-five embraced in the four statutes above men- 
tioned, the act was left untouched." 

Thus after the passage of the law of 1848 there were five 
distinct schemes of educational management in the State, to say 
nothing of the many plans worked out by the separate localities 
through the exercise of local taxation Decentralization with 
its usual concomitant, inefficient management, was thoroughly 
embedded in the school administration. "The educational 
movement of that period,'' says Judge Mayes, "is a curious 
study. The carping criticism andthe general indulgence, the 
pessimistic forecasting and the wide-eyed faith, the short-sighted 
temporizing and the far-reaching prevision, all were most strik- 
ingly exhibited; but the universal innocence among both foes 

4T See Mayes History of Education in Miss., Ch. XV., p. 280. 
"Ibid., Ch. XV., p. 281. 


and friends of all just conception of the cost of the movement 
in dollars and cents is wonderful. ' ,49 

For twelve years, 1848 to 1860, the volume of special and 
local legislation on school matters increased steadily. "Each 
succeeding legislature increased the number of special acts, thus 
rendering the public school system more complicated and less 
effective year by year. This development reached a climax in 
the legislature of 1859-1860, which passed no less than twenty- 
six different acts of this nature. " 50 As bad as this condition 
was, it was not hopeless, for as has been pointed out by Miss 
Elsie Timberlake : 51 

"This certainly argued no lack of interest in school matters, but 
rather the reverse. The people of each county or group of countk:> 
seemed to think they had a plan a little better than the one adopted by 
the state, or that the peculiar conditions in their county demanded pe- 
culiar laws. Some counties passed laws requiring the special tax 
levy; others abolished the board of school directors and put the funds 
back into the hands of the board of police; still others appointed coun- 
ty superintendents and had laws similar to the present ones (1912.)" 

Miss Timberlake also calls attention to the fact that consid- 
erable progress was made during the decade 1850 to 1860 in 
spite of the confusion which resulted from the continued de- 
centralization of the school administration. She quotes from 
the United States census reports of 1850 and 1860 to show that 
for the state there was an increase in the number of schools, 
teachers, and amount expended of about thirty-three and one- 
third per cent in the ten years. In 1850 there were 756 teach- 
ers, 782 common schools, 18,746 pupils, and an expenditure of 
$254,159; in 1860 there were 1,215 teachers, 1,116 common 
schools, 30,970 pupils, and an expenditure of $385, 677. 52 

Prior to the civil war, by the provisions of the school law 
of 1846, the Secretary of State was ex-officio General School 
Commissioner. His duties were chiefly "to keep all statistical 

*»Mayes, History of Education in Miss., Ch. XV, p. 281. 

M Riley, School History of Miss. p. 246. 

"Publications Miss. Historical' Society, Vol. XII, pp. 74-75, in an 

article entitled, Did the Reconstruction Regime Give Mississppl 

Her Public Schools? 
"Publications Miss. Historical Society, Vol. XII, pp. 75-76. Also 

State Supt. Education, Joseph Bardwell, Report 1876. 


matters pertaining to educational conditions of the State in his 
office and make a semi-annual report." He had no powers of 
direction or control over the school officials of counties, towns, 
and townships. The affairs of the common schools ran on in 
this unorganized, clumsy, and unintelligent fashion until the be- 
ginning of the Civil War brought a temporary suspense in civil 
organization. "Under such management, ' ' says Mayes, "the 
schools drifted along to the period of the civil war, doing some 
good, more in some localities than in others, of course, but in all 
crippled, in many paralyzed, by the want of a uniform and vig- 
orous policy." 53 

Of the establishment of the State University, which occur- 
red prior to 1860 more will be said later. 54 

Although it cannot be manitained that the reconstruction 
regime gave to Mississippi her system of public schools, 55 the re- 
sult of the civil war had a profound significance on all future 
educational problems in Mississippi, as in the other Southern 
States. The public schools of the state prior to the civil war 
were open only to white children. After 1865 by the emancipa- 
tion of the negro race the number of children in the state to be 
considered in any educational plans was more than double what 
it had been at the beginning of hostilities To quote from Dr. 
Rowland: "Having launched this race into citizenship, the 
Northern people and the United States government attempted to 
provide extraordinary facilities for its education, old and young 
alike. The movement began with a school at Corinth soon after 
the Union occupation in 1862. " 56 Until after 1870, however, 
the negro schools in the state could not properly be referred to 
as a part of public education ; for the schools that were organized 
for the negroes during the war owed their origin and existence 
to philanthropic acts of Northern people, entirely so until the 
establishment of the Freedmen's Bureau by act of Congress 
March 2, 1865, and partially so from that time until the negro 

"Mayes, History of Education in Miss., Ch. XV., p. 282. 
"Infra., p. 125f. 

»*See Timberlake, Vol. XII, Pub. Miss. Historical Society, pp. 72-93. 
"Ency: Miss. History, Vol. II, p. 615. 

'/'<>" . ».•• •» V 



schools were incorporated into the state system by the constitu- 
tion of 1868. In his monograph on Reconstruction in Mississip- 
pi, Dr. James W. Garner has the following to say concerning 
these schools: 57 

"With the occupation of the state by the Federal armies, the work 
of teaching the negroes began. The first schools established for this 
purpose were at Corinth shortly after the occupation of that town by 
the Union troops in 1862. The American Missionary Association, the 
Freedmen's Aid Society, and the Society of Friends had established 
schools about Vicksburg before the close of the war. Upon the organ- 
ization of the Freedmen's Bureau, a more systematic and comprehen- 
sive plan of negro education was undertaken. Joseph Yv T arren, chap- 
lain of a negro regiment, was appointed superintendent of freedmen's 
schools for the state at large. These schools were under military 
supervision, and benevolent associations supplied them with books and 
in many cases, furnished clothing to the students." 

Dr. Garner quotes from the Report of Superintendent War- 
ren showing the number of negro schools and the enrollment on 
March 31, 1865 to be as follows : Vicksburg 11 schools, 22 teach- 
ers, enrollment 1854 ; Camps near Vicksburg, 4 schools, 9 teach- 
ers, enrollment 739 ; Natchez, 11 schools, 20 teachers, enrollment 
1080. 58 "The teachers," says Dr. Garner, "were, for the most 
part, supported by the Northwest Freedmen's Commission, the 
Friend's Society, the United Brethren, the American Baptist 
Home Missionary Society, the National Freedmen's Relief As- 
sociation, the American Missionary Association, and the Re- 
formed Presbyterian Board." 59 

The officials of the Freedmen's Bureau reported in 1867 
that 450 pupils were enrolled in a negro normal school at Vicks- 
burg, and that 1700 negro pupils were attending the common 
schools of Vicksburg. Their report of 1869 showed that there 
were 81 negro schools in the state attended by 4344 pupils, and 
that of the 105 teachers, 40 were colored. 60 

The legislature which met in October, 1865 was the first to 
deal with matters of public education after the war was over. 
Governor Humphreys gave his approval to the educational acts 

"Chapter Tenth, Educational Reconstruction, pp. 354-355. 

"Reconstruction in Miss., p. 355. 

M Ibid. 

M See, Garner, Reconstruction in Miss., p. 355. 

■ - ■■- 


proposed in the legislature. In his address to the two houses 
on the first day of the session October 16, 1865 he said, "Several 
hundred thousand of the negro race, unfitted for political equal- 
ity with the white race, have been turned loose upon society; 
and in the guardianship she may assume over this race, she must 
deal justly with them, and protect them in all their rights of 
person and property. The highest degree of elevation in the 
scale of civilization to which they are capable, morally and in- 
tellectually, must be secured to them by their education and re- 
ligious training .... " 61 Twenty-three educational acts were 
passed by this session of the legislature, among them one appro- 
priating $20,000 to the University of Mississippi, and another 
empowering Meridian to levy a special tax to reopen her public 
schools. 62 

The constitution of 1832 was twice profoundly modified: 
First, by the Ordinance of Secession passed January 15, 1861, 
whereby the state undertook to secede from the Federal Union, 
and to become a member of the Southern Confederacy ; and sec- 
ondly, by the amendments of the Convention of August, 1865, 
by which the Ordinance of Secession was repealed, slavery 
abolished, and other changes of minor importance made. 63 Un- 
der the constitution as amended by the Convention of 1865 the 
first legislature, which met in October of the same year, had 
passed the twenty-three educational acts to which reference has 
just been made. The next step of importance in school affairs 
was taken when on January 17, 1867, a meeting was held of the 
teachers of the state for the purpose of organizing a State Asso- 
ciation. They resolved, "that the enactment of a common- 
school system that shall meet the wants or necessities of the en- 
tire population is a desideratum of the utmost importance ; that 
it is the duty as well as the interests the State, through its 
legislature, to establish and maintain normal schools in different 

"For a fuller quotation from the address see, Ency. Miss History, 
Vol. 1, pp. 894-896. 

•Timberlake, Pub. Miss. Historical Society, Vol. XII, p. 82. 

"Macy, Our Government, Supplement by Edward Mayes, p. 7. Also, 
Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters and other Or- 
ganic laws of U. S., by B. P. Poor, Part II, pp. 1099-1080. 


parts of the State for the purpose of educating colored teachers, 
so that they may be qualified to labor as teachers among the 
colored population of the State ; that it would be for the interest 
of the people and the promotion of education to have a uniform 
system. ■ ,64 

Commenting upon the resolutions adopted by the teachers 
Miss Timberlake says: " These facts show that there must have 
been a number of teachers in the state, many of whom were of 
Northern birth ; that the movement was one to effect uniformity 
of purpose in white schools and to discharge the responsibility 
to the negro citizen evolved out of this new relation. ' ,C5 

The reconstruction measures precluded the possibility of 
the teachers carrying out their plans for an educational system. 
It was not to be long, however, before a system of public educa- 
tion was to be put in force. The third constitution of the state 
was adopted by vote of the people, held under act of Congress, 
December 1, 1869. This was the Reconstruction Constitution, 
the only constitution ever adopted by popular vote in the state, 
and the constitution under which the state was re-admitted to 
her representation in Congress and to her right of self govern- 
ment, after the civil war. 66 Inasmuch as under this constitu- 
tion statutes were enacted giving to Mississippi her first unified 
system of education and introducing for the first time any de- 
gree of centralization of administration, it is appropriate here 
to examine in detail the provisions of that document dealing 
with the subject of education. The ten sections of Article VII 
are given entirely to matters pertaining to the School-Fund, Ed- 
ucation, and Science. 

There was nothing mandatory about the constitutional pro- 
vision contained in the first, and repeated without change in the 
second constitution of the state. 67 When the reconstruction 
convention met it was very evident from the beginning that more 

"Mayes, History of Education in Miss , Ch. XV < p. 282. 

"Vol. XII, Pub. Miss. Historical Society, p. 83. ' 

"Vol. I, pp. 529-535, Ency. Miss. History; Macy, Our Government, 

Supplement by Mayes, p. 7. 
"Constitution of 1817, Art. VI, Section 16. Constitution of 1832, Art 

VII, Section 14. 


definite provisions for education would be made; for beyond 
question "one of the schemes of the reconstructionists in Missis- 
sippi was the establishment of an elaborate system of public 
schools for the benefit of both races. ' ' 68 The plans for a system 
of public education for whites was to say the least of it well un- 
der way at the outbreak of hostilities in 1861, and there seems no 
doubt that had the war and reconstruction not interrupted, an- 
other decade would have found established in Mississippi a sys- 
tem of free public schools for the white children of the state. 69 
A study of the personnel of the reconstruction convention ex- 
plains the attitude of that delegation on educational interest ; 
for many of the members were freedmen or Northern white men 
and were ' ' thoroughly imbued with the idea of education for the 
negro race." 70 There were but few of the other members who 
would not give their unstinted support to measures designed to 
establish a system of public schools which should be for the 
benefit of ' ' all children between the ages of five and twenty-one 
years. ' ' 71 

Thus the Constitution of 1868, adopted in convention May 
15th of that year and ratified by the people December 1, 1869, 
declared that "As the stability of a republican form of govern- 
ment depends mainly upon the intelligence and virtue of the 
people, it shall be the duty of the legislature to encourage, by 
all suitable means, the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, 
and agricultural improvement, by establishing a uniform system 
of free public schools, by taxation or otherwise, for all children 
between the ages of five and twenty-one years, and shall, as soon 
as practicable, establish schools of higher grade." 72 

Prior to the constitution of 1868, and the laws made pursu- 
ant thereto, by provision in the school laws of 1846 the secretary 
of state had been ex-officio General School Commissioner. 73 The 

•"Garner, Reconstruction in Miss., p. 354. 

w For an interesting discussion on this subject, see, Article by Miss 

Timberlake, Vol. XII, Pub. Miss. Historical Society, pp. 72-93. 
"Garner, Reconstruction in Miss., p. 355. 
"Constitution of 1868, Art. VIII, Sec. 1. 
"Constitution of 18G8, Art. VIII, Sec. 1. 
"Supra., pp. 33, 34. 


constitution of 1868 provided for a state superintendent of pub- 
lic education "elected at the same time and in the same manner 
as the governor, who shall have the qualifications of the secre- 
tary of state, and hold his office for four years, and until his 
successor shall be elected and qualified." 74 He was given the 
general supervision of the common schools and the educational 
interests of the state and was to perform such other duties per- 
taining to his office and receive such compensation as prescribed 
by law. He was required to report to the legislature, for its 
adoption, within twenty days after the opening of its first ses- 
sion under the new constitution, a uniform system of free public 
schools. 75 

The state board of education was made to consist Of the sec- 
retary of state, the attorney-general, and the superintendent of 
public education, and their duty was declared to be * ' the manage- 
ment and investment of the school funds, under the general di- 
rection of the legislature, and to perform such other duties as 
may be prescrbed by law." 76 The superintendent and one other 
member of the board constituted a quorum. 

By a special act passed in 1848 the office of county superin- 
tendent of education was created in four counties, viz., Hinds, 
Jefferson, Wilkinson, and Amite. 77 No general provision was 
made for the office of county superintendent of education until 
the constitution of 1868, which provided for such an officer in 
each county, to be appointed by the state board of education, by 
and with the advice and consent of the senate. The legislature, 
however, was vested with power to make the office of county 
school superintendent elective, as were other county officers. 
The term of office of the county superintendent was made two 
years, and his compensation and duties were to be prescribed by 
law. 78 

By the terms of the constitution, in each school district one 
or more public schools were to be maintained at least four 

"Constitution of 1868, Art. VIII, Sec. 2. 

"Const. 1868, Art. VIII, Sec. 2 

"Ibid., Art. VIII, Sec. 3. 

"Infra., p. 42. 

"Constitution of 1868, Art. VIII, Sec. 4. 


months in each year, and any school-district neglecting to main- 
tain such school or schools was to be deprived for that year of its 
proportion of the income of the free-school fund, and all funds 
arising from taxes for the support of schools. 79 

There had been up to 1868 no permanent state school fund, 
and no general state-wide tax had been levied for school pur- 
poses. This situation was remedied when it was provided by 
the constitution 80 that, 

There shall he established a common school fund, which shall con- 
sist of the proceeds of the lands now belonging to the State, hereto- 
fore granted by the United States, and all the lands known as "swamp- 
lands," except the swamp-lands lying and situated on Pearl River, ic 
the counties of Hancock, Marion, Lawrence, Simpson and Copiah, and 
of all lands now or hereafter vested in the state by escheat or purchase 
or forfeiture for taxes, and the clear proceeds of all fines collected in 
the several counties for any breach of the penal laws, and all moneys 
received for licenses granted under the general laws of the state for 
the sale of intoxicating liquor or keeping of dram-shop, all moneys 
paid as an equivalent for persons exempt from military duty, and the 
funds arising from the consolidation of the congressional-township 
fund and the lands belonging thereto, together with all moneys donat- 
ed to the state for school purposes, which funds shall be securely in- 
vested in United States bonds and remain a perpetual fund^ which may 
be increased but not diminished, the interest of which shall be inviol- 
ably appropriated for the support of free schools. 

In addition to this, by Section 7 of the constitution the 
legislature was empowered to levy a poll tax "not to exceed two 
dollars a head in aid of the school fund, and for no other pur- 
pose." 81 Moreover, other aid from taxation was made avail- 
able in case additional funds were necessary to support the sys- 
tem of free schools. Indeed the framers of the constitution 
sought to make the duty of providing for levying and collecting 
such taxes obligatory upon the legislature. Section 10 of Arti- 

"Art. VIII, Sec. 5. 
"Art VIII, Sec. G. 
"Art VIII, Const. 1868. 


cle VIII read: "The legislature shall from time to time, as may 
be necessary, provide for the levy and collection of such other 
taxes as may be required to properly support the system of free 
schools herein adopted; and all school-funds shall be divided 
pro rata among the children of school ages." 82 Manifestly 

there was no legal means by which the legislature could be com- 
pelled to comply with this mandate. 

The first legislature to convene under the Reconstruction 
Constitution met January 11, 1870. Governor Alcorn in his 
inaugural address had called attention to the importance of the 
establishment of a system of common schools for the "poor white 
and colored children of the state who had been permitted in the 
past to grow up like wild f lowers/ ' 83 Soon after the meeting 
of the legislature the governor followed up his inaugural by 
sending a special message to the lawmakers calling their atten- 
tion to the provisions of the constitution which made it manda- 
tory upon them that they pass statutes for the establishment of 
a uniform system of public schools. 84 On July 4, 1870, the leg- 
islature passed the school law, entitled, "An act to regulate the 
supervision, organization, and maintenance of a uniform system 
of public education for the state of Mississippi. ' ' An elaborate 
statute, covering with its supplements of that session over twenty 
printed pages, it was looked upon as entirely different from any 
preceding educational statutes. To show that the law of 1870 
was not a complete innovation, and that it really bears marked 
resemblance to the old school law of 1846, Miss Timberlake gives 

"Section 8 of Article VIII makes it the duty of the legislature, as 
soon as practicable, to provide for an agricultural college or colleges 
in accordance with the act of Congress of July 2, 1865 donating 
land for such purpose. Section 9 declares that no religious secU 
shall ever control any part of the school funds of the state. 

"Quoted by Dr. Garner, Reconstruction in Miss., p. 355, from Senate 
Journal, 1870, p. 51. 

"Appendix to Senate Journal, 1870, pp. 12-20. See Garner, p. 355. 



in parallel columns the following brief comparison of the two 
laws : 85 

Law of 1846 
This law provided for: 
1 A General School Commis- 
sioner whose . duties shall be to 
keep all statistical matters per- 
taining to educational conditions 
of the state in his office and make 
a semi-annual report of this. 

2. County superintendents 
who shall have the general super- 
vision of the county schools and 
render an annual report to the 
General Commissioner. (Note: 
this was a special act passed in 
1848, and applied only to Hinds 
Tunica, Jefferson, Wilkinson, and 
Amite counties.) 

3. County school commission- 
ers, five in each county, appoint- 
ed by the Board of Police. They 
were to serve for one year, to hold 
quarterly meetings, elect a presi- 
dent and a secretary, adopt by- 
laws, decide what schools should 
be termed county schools, issue 
licenses, employ teachers, etc. 

4. A Board* of Police to levy a 
special school tax, not more than 
one-fourth of the state tax, pro- 
vided the majority of the heads 
of families gave their consent in 

5. Funds arising from sale or 
lease of sixteenth sections to be 
placed in the hands of Commis- 
sioners for school purposes. 

6. All escheats, fines, for- 
feitures, and all monies arising 
from licenses for the sale of 
spiritous liquors, or for licenses 

granted to peddlers, hawkers, 
brokers, etc., to be set apart for 
school purposes. 

Law of 1870. 
This law provided for: 
1. A State Superintendent of 
Education whose duties shall be 
to keep reports from various 
counties, make an annual report 
to the legislature, and have gen- 
eral supervision of all school in- 
terests of the state. 

2 County superintendents, 
who shall have general supervi- 
sion of county schools, make an 
annual report embracing certain 
Information required by the 
State Superintendent regarding 
the number of educable children, 
the amount of school fund, etc. 

3. Boards of school directors, 
consisting of six members. These 
were appointed by the Board of 
Supervisors and each held office 
for six years. The county superin- 
tendent was ex-officio president 
of the beard and the clerk of the 
Circuit Court was an ex-officio 
secretary. They were to meet 
quarterly; to make all needful 
by-laws; to divide school districts 
into subdivisions where neces- 
sary; to secure school grounds, 
establish graded schools, etc. 

4. A Board of Supervisors to 
levy a special tax as estimated by 
the County School Board, provid- 
ed it was not more than fifteen 

5. Management of sixteenth 
section land by County Board and 
the appropriation of proceeds to 

school purposes. 

6. « All fines, forfeitures, and 
monies for licenses, as well as 
gifts for school purposes to be 
placed in the hands of the State 

By setting down more fully the substance of the law of 

"Vol. XII, Pub. Miss. Historical Society, p. 85, Quoting laws of 1846, 
and laws of 1870, Ch. 1. 


1870 and referring back 36 to the main provisions of the law of 
1846 the resemblance and dissimilarities of the two statutes 
stand out more clearly. The main points of the law of 1870 
have been summarized by Mayes, 87 as follows: 

"Each county in the state was constituted a school district, and so 
was each incorporated city containing more than 5,000 inhabitants. 
Free public schools were ordered to be maintained in each district for 
a period of four months or more in each year, affording suitable facili- 
ties to every resident youth between the ages of 5 and 21 years. The 
state board of education provided for by the constitution was given the 
general management of the common school fund, including ail dona- 
tions and appropriations thereto, was required to appoint for each 
county a suitable county superintendent, and was given the power to re- 
move such superintendent for incompetency, misfeasance, or non-mis- 
feasance, and authorized to fill vacancies. The state superintendent was 
made the presiding officer of the state board; was given the general 
supervision of all public schols, with the power of visitation; was auth- 
orized to prescribe rules for the organization and conducting of the 
schools and to decide all controversies about school management; was 
required to provide for the holding of annual teachers' institutes in 
each congressional district and to make full reports to each legislature. 
The county superintendents were given general supervision of the schools 
of the county and required to visit them at least once in each term; 
were authorized to examine the applicants for employment as teachers 
and to grant certificates according to their grade of scholarship to be 
good for not more than one year; were required to perform such other 
duties as the state superintendent or the state board might designate. 
In each school district a board of school directors was provided for, to 
which was committed the general management. The various boards 
of supervisors were required to levy annual taxes to meet the estimated 
expenses, which were to be collected by the county tax collector, pro- 
vided that the schoolhouse tax should not exceed 10 mills on the dollar 
nor the teachers' tax exceed 5. The various county treasurers were 
made the custodians of the school funds and required to disburse them 
only on warrants of the presidents of the school directors." 

In the Revised Code of Mississippi adopted by the legisla- 
ture January 1871 the educational statutes of 1870 were, with 
only a few minor changes, reenacted. For a little over two 
years 88 the statutes of 1871 remained the basis of the educational 
system of the state. A detailed examination of the statutes will 
show to what extent the constitutional mandate was carried out 
by the legislative department. 

Free public schools were to be maintained, at least one in 

M For substance of the Law of 1846, see supra., pp. 33-34. 

"History of Education in Miss., p. 283. 

M Until the act of April 17, 1873, see infra, p. 56. 


each school district for a period of four months or more in the 
year and every school was to be open to all children between the 
ages of five and twenty-one years residing in the district. 89 One 
of the provisions of the statutes, as would be expected, which 
caused much opposition to the school law, only because, how- 
ever, the meaning of the statute was not correctly interpreted in 
many sections of the state, was that provision of the law which 
declared, "All the children of this state, betwen the ages of five 
and twenty-one years, shall have, in all respects, equal advan- 
tages in the public schools." 90 "All children" of course meant 
those of both races; to have in all respects "equal" advantages 
did not, however, mean identical advantages, or rather that 
there should not be separate schools for the races. 

The constitutional provision for school districts was carried 
out by constituting every county in the state a school district. 
It was provided, however, that any incorporated city containing 
more than three thousand inhabitants was to constitute a sepa- 
rate school district. 91 The school directors of the districts were 
charged with the duty of establishing "as many schools in any 
sub-district as was necessary for the education of all the children 
of school age." 92 

By provision of the constitution 93 the state board of educa- 
tion was given under the general direction of the legislature, the 
management and investment of the school funds, but beyond this 
the duties of the board were to be prescribed by the legislature. 
By the statutes of 1871 the board was given this power, with the 
proviso that the Chickasaw school funds and the sixteenth sec- 
tion founds should not be under the management of the board as 
were all other school funds. 94 The statutes empowered the 
board of education to bring and maintain suits for the recovery 
of money, land or property held in trust by the state or desig- 
nated and set apart for the common school fund, and the ex- 

"Art 1, Sec. 1992, Revised Code, 1871. 

•°Ch. 39, Art. 1, Sec 1994, Revised Code of 1871. 

"Chapter 39, Art. II, Sec. 1994, Revised Code of 1871. 

"Ibid., Sec. 1995. 

"Art VIII, Sec. 3, Const, of 1868. 

"Art. Ill, Sec. 1996, Revised Code of 1871. 


penses of such suits were made payable by the state treasurer 
upon the warrant of the auditor and certificate of the board of 
education. 95 An annual report was to be submitted by the 
board of education which should embrace : First, the number of 
acres of land belonging to the state, designated and set apart for 
educational purposes, and the estimate value of such. lands; sec- 
ond, the number of acres sold, rented or disposed of; third, the 
aggregate amount of proceeds arising from the rental and sale of 
school lands, the amount of money collected from fines, licenses, 
exemptions from military duty, and donations of money or other 
personal property made to the common school fund; fourth, the 
aggregate amount of the common school fund, the amount in- 
vested in United States bonds, and the amount of interest aris- 
ing from such investments; fifth, the amount appropriated for 
the support of free schools, and appropriated to the several dis- 
tricts of the state ; sixth, plans and suggestions for the improve- 
ment in methods of raising school revenues, and management of 
the common school fund. In addition to these specific require- 
ments as to the content of the annual report the board of edu- 
cation was called upon to include in the reports "such other mat- 
ters, pertaining to the interest and advancement of public in- 
struction in this state, as they may deem expedient to communi- 
cate." The report of the board of education was referred to 
the superintendent of public education and incorporated in his 
annual report to the legislature. The board was to hold annual 
meetings at the capitol. It was required of each member of the 
board before entering upon the duties of office that he give bond 
"in the penal sum of twenty thousand dollars, conditioned as 
the bonds of other state officers. ' ,96 

. As has been noted, 97 the state superintendent of education 
was given by the constitution the general supervision of the com- 
mon schools and the educational interests of the state. His other 
duties were to be prescribed by statute. The first state superin- 
tendent of education elected in Mississippi was given reasonably 

"Art. Ill, Sec. 1996, Revised Code of 1871. 
••Revised Code of 1871, Art. Ill, Sec. 1998. 
"Supra, p. 39, Art. VIII, Sec. 2, Const, of 1868. 


broad statutory powers. He, was given authority to prescribe 
such rules and regulations as he deemed necessary for the effi- 
cient organization and management of the schools. It was de- 
manded of him that he make such annual visits to the schools 
in each congressional district as the board of education thought 
necessary. It was his duty to provide for the hplding of a 
teachers' institute once a year in each congressional district. He 
was to decide all disputes or controversies pertaining to school 
management, solicit reports from all educational institutions of 
the state, and submit an annual report to the legislature. 98 The 
state superintendent was made the presiding officer at all meet- 
ings of the board of education." He was to "prepare, and 
cause to be printed in pamphlet form, with a proper index, as 
many copies of the school laws in force * * * * with the 
necessary forms, regulations and instructions for conducting all 
proceedings under said laws annexed thereto, as he may deem 
advisable, and transmit the same to the county superintendent 
and other school officers, entrusted with the executions of said 
laws." 100 The state superintendent was allowed to appoint a 
clerk, who should in addition to his duties as clerk to the state 
superintendent be secretary to the board of education. 101 Sec- 
tion 2005 of Article IV 102 declared "that the state superintend- 
ent of education shall not act as agent for any author, publisher 
or bookseller, nor directly or indirectly receive any gift, emolu- 
ment or reward, for his influence in recommending or procuring 
the use of any books, school apparatus or furniture, of my kind 
whatever, in any of the public schools of this state." Removal 
from office and forfeiture of all money due him from the state 
was fixed as the penalty for the violation of this provision of the 

The office of county superintendent of education was an im- 
portant feature of the school law of 1870, and- of the law as re- 
enacted in the revised code of 1871. The county had been made 

"Revised Cods of 1871, Art. VI, Sec. 1999. 

"Ibid., Sec 2000. 

""Revised Code of 1871, Art. IV, Sec. 2002. 

,#1 Ibid., 2003. 

m Code of 1871. 


the district ; the district was to be the chief administrative unit 
of the school system; the county superintendent was to be the 
chief administrative officer in each county, or district, except 
the municipalities which had been created separate districts. In 
establishing for the first time the office of county superintendent 
for all the counties' in the state the statute 103 reads as follows : 
" The county superintendent shall have the general supervision 
of the schools of the county ; he shall visit them at least once in 
each term; he shall examine the candidates for teaching, and 
shall give them certificates, which shall be sufficient for any part 
of the county; and no person shall be employed as teacher in 
any public school unless he or she shall have obtained a certifi- 
cate from the county superintendent of good moral character, 
and that he or she is qualified to teach the following branches: 
reading, writing, arithmetic, English grammar and geography, 
and the county superintendent shall certify, upon such exami- 
nation, what other branches the candidates are qualified to teach ; 
and no teacher shall be allowed to teach, in any public school, 
any branch not named in such certificates ; no certificate shall be 
valid for a longer period than twelve months, and the county 
superintendent shall have power to annul certificates of such 
teachers as may prove in any respect unworthy." 

In order to carry out the constitutional requirements that 
all school funds should be divided pro rata among the children 
of school ages 104 it was required by act of the legislature that the 
assessors in the different counties, at the time of assessing state 
tax, triennially to make an accurate enumeration of all the 
j^ouths of their counties betwen the ages of five and twenty-one 
years, designating the numbers in each sub-district in the coun- 
ty. 105 The assessor was required to make out duplicate lists of 
the enumeration and deliver one of them to the county superin- 
tendent, and the other to the county treasurer. The assessor 
was also required to perform such other duties as the state super- 
intendent, or the board of education, should designate. 106 

,03 Art. V, Sec. 2006, Revised Code of 1871 
lw Supra., p. 41, Art. VIII. Sec. 10, Const, of 1868. 
1M Art. V, Sec. 2007, Revised Code of 1871. 
1M Ibid. 


The county superintendents were required to make annual 
reports to the state superintendent, which reports should em- 
brace such information as designated by the state superintend- 
ent. Annually also every county superintendent, under the law, 
was to forward to the auditor of public accounts, for educational 
purposes, an enumeration of the educable children of the 
county. 107 Moreover Section 2009 of Article V of the revised 
code specified that "the county superintendent of education, 
shall, as soon as practicable, prepare and forward a report to the 
board of education, giving a full description and condition of 
the school lands located in his county ; also, the amount and con- 
dition of all school funds, belonging to the county or district, of 
whatever kind or nature." The same restriction was placed 
upon the county superintendent as upon the state superintend- 
ent in regard to acting as agent for or receiving rewards for his 
influence in recommending or procuring the use of books, school 
apparatus, .or other school equipment. 108 

In the administration of affairs of the school districts the 
boards of school directors played an) important part. In pro- 
viding for these boards the legislature did not act upon any spe- 
cifiic constitutional requirement; any one of many other plans 
for a directing agency for the several districts might have been . 
adopted. Under the statute as adopted a board of school direc- 
tors consisting of six persons, appointed by the board of county 
supervisors, or the city council of any incorporated city of more 
than three thousand inhabitants, was to be provided in each of 
the school districts. The directors were to serve three years, 
two going out of office each year. They were to be appointed, as 
far as practicable, from the supervisors' districts of the county, 
and the wards of the city. 109 The county superintendent of 
education was designated as president of the board or boards. 
He voted only in case of a tie. The clerk' of the circuit court was 
made the secretary of the city board. 110 The board of school 
directo rs was constituted a body corporate and politic in law 

m Art V, Sec. 2008, Revised Code of 1871. 
""Art. V, Sec. 2010, Revised Code of 1871. 
"•Revised Code of 1871, Ch. 39, Art VI, Sec. 2011. 
"•Ibid., Sec. 2012. 


with power to sue and be sued, and perform all other corporate 
acts necessary in law. 111 

The administrative powers and duties of the boards of 
school directors were as follows : 112 

First — To make such needful rules, by-laws and regulations, 
as they deemed necessary to aid in performing the duties of 
their offices, as well as to carry out the requirements of the law, 
"not inconsistent with the constitution of the United States, or 
the constitution and laws of the state of Mississippi." 

Second — To divide the school district into sub-school dis- 
tricts, for the accommodation of the children of school age; to 
alter and change the districts to suit the convenience of the peo- 
ple ; all sub-districts to be numbered one, two three, etc. 

Third — To procure grounds, and procure or construct suita- 
ble buildings for opening schools. 

Fourth — To employ teachers, and to perform such other du- 
ties as necessary and requisite to put the schools into operation. 

Fifth — To establish union schools wherever they deemed it 

. Sixth — To select text books, regarding which the law reads : 
"The board of school directors of each school district shall pre- 
scribe a uniform series of text books, to be used in the schools 
throughout the district ; provided, said books shall be furnished 
at no more than actual cost ; a price list shall be kept in the office 
of the county superintendent, and in each school building, and 
be published in the newspapers of the county : provided further, 
that nothing in this section shall be so construed as to prevent 
parents, guardians or pupils, from purchasing their supply of 
text books, of the prescribed series, from any other source." 113 

Seventh — All members of boards of school directors were 
prohibited from acting in the capacity of agent for any author, 
publisher or bookseller, or from receiving any emolument for 
his influence in recommending the use of the books and school 

m Revised Code of 1871 Ch. 39, Art. VT, Sec. 2013. 

m Ibid., Sec. 2014. 

m See Sec. 2013 of Art. VI. of the law. 


Eight — To make annual reports to the board of county su- 
pervisors, and the city council, respectively, containing an esti- 
mate of the costs of school sites, construction and rental of such 
number of suitable school buildings, as necessary to afford school 
facilities for each and every sub-school district, in the county or 
city; to also make an estimate of the necessary contingent ex- 
penses, such as repairs, necessary school appartus, and any defi- 
cit in the teachers' fund. 

In addition to the powers and duties of the school directors 
just enumerated they had important duties to perform in con- 
nection with the selling and leasing of school lands. The school 
directors of each district were authorized to ascertain the will of 
the qualified electors of any township in the county, to which be- 
longed any lands which had been granted and " especially re- 
served and appropriated for the use of schools," as to whether 
or not such lands should be sold. The school directors in order 
to ascertain the will of the qualified electors were empowered to 
order an election in the township. In such elections it was re- 
quired that the board of school directors give at least thirty 
days notice, stating the object of the election and the time and 
place where it would be held. Due notice was to be given of all 
such elections. When the result of an election showed that a 
majority of those voting favored the selling of the school lands 
it became the duty of the school directors to sell at public auc- 
tion, "at the court house door," or have sold by an auctioneer 
employed by them at their expense, to the highest bidder, in 
quantities of not more than eighty acres. 114 The board of 
school directors was required to notify the county board of su- 
pervisors of any order of sale of school land. Thereupon the 
board of supervisors was called upon to appoint "three intelli- 
gent freeholders of the township, to which such lands belong, 
who are in no way interested in the sale of said lands, as a board 
of appraisers ; and the board thus appointed shall take an oath, 
or affidavit, to faithfully perform the duties of their office ; and 
said board of appraisers shall submit a report to the board of 
supervisors, and to the board of school directors, of their ap- 

m Revised Code of 1871, Ch. 39, Art. VII, Sec. 2015. 


praisement of said school lands." 115 A due amount of pub- 
licity was required to be given of all sales of school lands. 116 
The lands were in no case to be sold for less than the minimum 
fixed by the board of appraisers. 117 

In case a majority of the qualified voters of the township 
were against the sale of the lands it was the duty of the school 
directors to "secure said lands from injury or waste, and exer- 
cise every reasonable precaution to prevent illegal possession or 
tresspass of any kind/" 118 The school directors were author- 
ized to lease the lands in quantities not less than five acres for a 
term not exceeding five years. No leases were to be made with- 
out due notice being given, and it was required that the land 
be leased to the highest bidder. As in the case of the sale of 
land, a •minimum price for the lease of the land was set by ap- 
praisers. 119 

The law required that all teachers in the public schools of 
the state should hold valid certificates granted by the county 
superintendent of the county in which the school was located; 
that contracts between teachers and directors should be made 
in writing and filed in the office of the county superintendent ; 
and that twenty days should constitute a school month. The 
law fixed the salaries of teachers according to the grade teachers * 
certificate held. On this point the law reads: "All teachers 
in the public schools of this state shall be entitled to receive, for 
their services, the following compensation, to-wit : those who may 
hold first class certificates, shall receive ninety dollars per 
month; those who may hold second-class certificates, shall re- 
ceive seventy dollars per month ; those who may hold third-class 
certificates, shall receive fifty dollars per month : provided, that 
any teachers, who may hold a first or second-class certificate, and 
who may be employed to teach a school below the grade of her 
certificate, shall only be entitled to the compensation provided 
by law for the teachers of such schools; but nothing herein con- 

m Revised Code of 1871, Ch. 39, Art. VII, Sec. 2016. 
U8 Ibid., Sec. 2017. 
m Ibid., Sec. 2018. 
m Ibid., Sec. 2020. 
"•Ibid., Sec. 2021. 



tained shall prevent the employment of competent teachers for 
a less salary, when the board of directors can do so, without prej- 
udice to the school or schools to be taught. ' ' 120 

The law required that one teachers' institute, of at least two 
weeks, be held annually in each congressional district at such 
time and place as the state superintendent might designate. The 
state superintendent was given general supervision and manage- 
ment of the institutes, but, said the law, "the inner working 
power shall be in the hands of an experienced educator and 
assistant, who are skilled in this work, to be employed by the 
state superintendent, and paid such salaries as the board of edu- 
cation may determine.' ' Provision was made for the continua- 
tion of the salaries of teachers in regular attendance upon the 
institute. 121 * 

In handling the school funds the county treasurer, and the 
city treasurer of the incorporated cities of more than three 
thousand inhabitants, served as a part of the administrative 
machinery of school systems. They were the fiscal agents of the 
several school districts, and sub-districts. They were required 
to give an additional bond of not less than five thousand dollars 
for the faithful performance of their duties under the school 
law. All money on account of the school fund of the county or 
city was received by the county or city treasurer, respectively, 
who was authorized to pay out such money on warrants signed 
by the president of the board of directors, and countersigned by 
the secretary: provided, such warrants were issued by order of 
the board. In regard to the further duties and privileges of the 
county and the city treasurer as fiscal agent of the board of 
school directors the law specified as follows : that he should keep 
a correct account of all expenses and receipts, in books provided 
for that purpose, which w r ere to always be open for inspection; 
that he should render a quarterly report to the board of school 
directors, who were in turn required to examine the accounts 
from time to time and make settlement with the treasurer ; that 
he should make an annual report to the state board of education, 

"•Revised Code of 1871 Ch. 39, Art. VIII, Sec. 2022. 
"Revised Code of 1871, Ch. 39, Art. IX, Sec. 2023. 


and should be allowed two per centum for all money disbursed 
by him, to be deducted from such money, and this amount was 
compensation in full for receiving and disbursing school 
money. 122 In regulating the methods to be used by the county 
and the city treasurer in keeping the school-fund accounts the law 
established four distinct educational funds. It was .required 
that the treasurers "keep a separate account with each sub- 
school district, and with each class of school funds" as follows: 
first, the "school house fund" consisting of all money col- 
lected by sub-district tax for school house purposes and conting- 
ent expenses; second, the "teachers' fund" consisting of all 
money collected or received from the salaries of teachers, and 
there was the additional requirement here that separate accounts 
be kept of teachers' funds received from the state and those 
funds raised by the county or city, and that, furthermore, all 
taxes levied for school house funds, or teachers ' funds, should be 
payable only in currency, state certificates, or school warrants; 
third, the "school land fund" consisting of all funds arising 
from the rental or sale of the school land sections ; and fourth, 
the" state school fund" consisting of money arising from fines, 
licenses for sale of intoxicating liquors, and keeping dram shops, 
and exemptions from military service. The treasurer was to 
"require all orders upon him for the payment of school moneys, 
to specify the fund on which it was drawn, and the specific use 
to which it is applied ; and in case there are not sufficient funds 
in his hands to pay the warrants drawn on the fund specified, he 
may make partial payment thereon, paying, as near as may be, 
an equal proportion of each warrant." 123 

By section 2026 of Article X of the law it became the duty 
of the county or city treasurers to make quarterly reports to 
the auditor of public accounts, and to pay over to the state treas- 
urer all money received by him, which by law accrues to the state 
school fund. By section 2027 of Article X the treasurers were 
required to furnish to the school directors annual reports of the 
school finances of the county or city, and to render such reports 

"'Revised Code of 1871, Ch. 39, Art. X, Sec. 2024, 
"Revised Code of 1871, Ch. 39, Art. X, Sec 2025. 


and statements, from time to time, as might be required by law. 
Section six, article eight, of the constitution 124 was incorporated 
into the statutes when it was provided that the state treasurer 
should under the direction of the board of education, invest the 
''common school fund," as provided by the constitution. 125 

The clerk of the circuit court for each county was made 
secretary of the city board. 126 The secretary was called upon 
to keep a full and correct record of all the matters coming before 
the board, and of all accounts allowed. As compensation for 
services as clerk of the county or city school board the circuit 
court clerk, respectively, received three dollars a day while 
actually engaged in official duties for the school board. 127 

The history of education in Mississippi for the five-year 
period 1871-1876 reveals many inconsistencies in policy and in 
practice. It was a period of political unrest and transition, a 
natural condition attending the reconstruction regime in the 
state. Speaking of the system of education adopted in 1870, and 
reenacted in the revised code of 1871 Judge Mayes said: 128 "At 
first there was much opposition to the system. The opposition 
was not to the education of the negro * * * * It was to 
the means and the people by which that education was under- 
taken." The same writer calls attention to the fact that even 
that opposition soon passed away, and he quotes from the report 
made by the State superintendent of education to the legislature 
in 1872 in which a reference is made to "a most marvelous rev- 
olution in public sentiment favorable to popular education dur- 
ing the past year." 129 

The chief objection to the system adopted in 1870 was that 
the expense was too heavy in view of the fact that the people 
were burdened with the losses and expenses of the war, and it 
was contended that this was especially true inasmuch as a sub- 
stantial part of the additional expense of the school system was 

"'Supra., p. 40. 

^Revised Code of 1871, Ch. 39, Art. X, Sec. 2028. 

""Ibid., Art. XI, Sec. 2029 

^Revised Code of 1871, Ch. 39, Art. XI, Sec. 2030. 

""History of Education in Miss., p. 283. 

^Ibid., pp. 283-284; ref. to Senate Journal 1872, Appendix, p. 181. 


for the purpose of educating the former slaves of the people 
who had to bear the burden through additional taxes. But on 
this point Dr. Garner says: 130 "It does not appear, however, 
that there was any opposition by the more intelligent whites to 
an economical scheme of negro education, for they clearly fore- 
saw that the higher interests of society required that freedmen 
should receive at least the rudiments of an education/' The 
administration of the system was unreasonably expensive. Sal- 
aried boards of directors and paid secretaries did the work that 
the county superintendent of education might well have done. 
In 1874 the total compensation to school directors amounted to 
$70,000. 131 Teachers' salaries were unduly increased in many 
sections of the state, and other administrative expenses became 
unnecessarily burdensome. Besides the objections based upon 
the expense of the system, the provisions of the law interfered 
with the practice of local selection of officers, first in the case of 
the school directors ; for the former, ' ' who were to be paid from 
the local treasuries," 132 were appointed by the state board of 
education, and the latter, ''who estimated the school taxes," 133 
were appointed by the boards of supervisors, "who were them- 
selves appointees of General Ames as military governor." 13 * 
Afterwards, the general election of 1871 for county and local 
officers quieted this objection as to the selection of school direc- 
tors. "Thus it happened," says Dr. Garner, "that the entire 
management of the schools, from the assessment of the taxes to 
the employment of the teachers, was in the control of the non- 
tax-paying class. These officials, some of whom were familiar 
with the excellent systems of public education in the old states, 
from which they came, sought to create a similar system in the 
South, without, apparently, taking into consideration the gen- 
eral impoverishment of the people and, the traditional opposi- 
tion to schools maintained in the state. Contributing little them- 
selves to the public burdens, they were often unable to appre- 

""Reconstruction in Miss , p. 356. 

m Garner, Reconstruction in Miss., p. 537, footnote 2. 

m Ibid., p. 357. 

133 Ibid. 



ciate the real situation of those who did. They proceeded on a. 
scale which would not have been considered burdensome in one 
of the Northern states, but it was unduly expensive for a South- 
ern state in 1870. " 135 

Besides the state university 136 which since its opening in 
1848 has existed exclusively for whites there had been estab- 
lished during the reconstruction period means of higher educa- 
tion for negroes. By 1876 the movement in this direction had 
become securely intrenched in the system of public education. 
Tougaloo University 137 founded in 1869 by the American Mis- 
sionary Association, was incorporated by the legislature in 1871. 
In 1872 the Normal department of Tougaloo University became 
the State Normal School. Shaw University 138 which had been 
located at Holly Springs by the Methodist Conference was in- 
corporated by the state legislature in 1870, and in the same year 
the Normal department was transferred to the state for use as a 
State Normal college. In 1872 Alcorn University, named in 
honor of Governor Alcorn, was established by the legislature.. 
The name of the institution was changed in 1878 to the Alcorn 
Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Missis- 
sippi. 139 

On April 17, 1873 the legislature passed an act which made 
some very important changes in the system which had been in 
operation since October 1870. "The boards of school directors 
were abolished and their duties parceled out between the boards 
of supervisors and the county superintendents. The patrons of 
schools were empowered to elect school trustees, who were to 
serve without salary, were to select teachers, to exercise visi- 
torial powers over the schools, and care for their comfort and 
welfare. County superintendents were given salaries . The sub- 
district system was abolished. The practice of collecting taxes 
and other moneys destined for the common-school fund in State 

"'Reconstruction in Miss., pp. 357-358. See footnotes, p. 358 for fig- 
ures showing expenses. 
ua Infra., p. 125 f. 

w See Mayes Hist. Education In Miss., pp. 259-266. 
m See Mayes Hist. Education In Miss., pp. 266-270. 
"•Ibid., pp. 270-277. 


warrants ( which led to the very awkward result that the school 
funds were very largely absorbed in payment of the general 
debts of the state) were discontinued and such collections re- 
quired to be made in currency. A general and uniform State 
tax of 4 mills on the dollar, in addition to the other taxes, etc., 
was levied for school purposes, the proceeds of which the auditor 
was required to distribute among the counties according to the 
proportion of educable children. AH schools were divided into 
two grades. In those of the first, orthography, reading, penman- 
ship, arithmetic, grammar, geography, history the United States, 
and composition were the prescribed studies, and the teachers' 
salaries were fixed at from $60 to $75. In those of the second 
were prescribed orthography, reading, penmanship, and the rudi- 
ments of arithmetic, grammar, and geography, the teachers' sal- 
aries being fixed at from $35 to $60." 140 

In his inaugral address in 1874 Governor Ames recom- 
mended "a careful inquiry as to the expense as well as other 
considerations which may attend a compulsory system of free 
common school education, having in view early legislative ac- 
tion. 141 In his message to the legislature in 1875 he said: "I 
renew my recommendation made last year, in favor of compul- 
sory education. It is the surest and safest avenue of escape from 
embarrassment of every kind which may surround us. Such 
laws have been in operation in other states, with great advantage 
and can be copied by us with like results." 14 -, Again, in his 
message of January 4, 1876, Governor Ames spoke of the public 
school problem as follows: 143 

"Neither argument nor statistics are necessary to make known the 
great extent of illiteracy which exists in the State. It is as much the 
duty of the state, as it would be to its advantage, to effect a speedy 
change in this particular. Much has been done already, but the State 
is more capable at this time, since the amendment of the Constitution, 
to extend its aid and fostering care. By that amendment, moneys 
which would otherwise have been locked up as a perpetual fund, can 
now be applied to educational purposes, year by year, as they are re- 
ceived. This will permit of the building of additional school houses, 

140 Mayes, History of Education in Miss., p. 184. 
M1 Senate Journal 1874, p. 26. 
142 Senate Journal 1875, p. 8. 
'"Senate Journal 1876, pp. 14-15. 


the employment of the best class of teachers, and the extension of Jhe 
periods of instruction. 

The prosperous condition of the finances of the State is such that, 
with the slightest effort, school facilities can be extended to every child. 
But^ unfortunately, ignorance, with its lack of appreciation, too often 
refuses to take advantage of the educational opportunities which are 
presented. To overcome this obstacle, laws should be enacted and en- 
forced requiring the attendance of every child for a limited period of 
time each year. Money and labor can never be more beneficially ex- 
pended in the interests of education than now." 

The election campaign of 1875 was the signal for the begin- 
ning of a political revolt in the state. 144 Since 1868 the Demo- 
crats had been unable to cope with the Republicans. But 
after the election of 1875 the reconstructionists were no longer 
able to dominate the politics of the state. As to the status of 
public education at the close of the reconstruction period it is 
interesting to note the conclusion of Dr. Garner who says in 
his chapter on Educational Reconstruction: 145 "When the re- 
constructionists surrendered the government to the democracy, 
in 1876, the public school system which they had fathered had be- 
come firmly established, its efficiency increased, and its adminis- 
tration made somewhat less expensive than at first. There does 
not seem to have been any disposition upon the part of the Dem- 
ocrats to abolish it or impair its efficiency. On the other hand, 
they kept their promise to the negroes, made provision for con- 
tinuing the system, and guaranteed an annual five months' term 
instead of four, as formerly. Moreover, the cost of maintaining 
the schools was very largely reduced, and the administration de- 
centralized and democratized, thereby removing what had been 
a strong obstacle to peace and good order. And thus the system 
of public education, unpopular at first, on account of the circum- 
stances surrounding its establishment, has grown in favor with 
the people, until today it is the chief means of solving the great 
problem which the Civil War left as a legacy to the white race." 

The greatest changes made in the school law by the legisla- 

,i4 The administration of public education under the carpet-bag gov- 
ernment had been particularly odious to the people of the state. 
The appointment of the negro Cardoza as state superintendent of 
education intensified the feeling against the reconstructionists. 

^Reconstruction in Mississippi, pp. 370-371. 


ture of 1876 were designed to bring about a more economical 
administration of public education. This, for example, is shown 
by the statute passed by the legislature cutting in half the 
Teachers' fund tax. In 1878 a general common school law was 
passed, but, in general, the administrative organization of the 
existing school system was retained. 

Throughout his administration Governor Stone was an en- 
thusiastic advocate of a vigorous system of public education. In 
his message to the legislature January 8, 1878 he referred to the 
great interest in the cause of education manifested by every class 
of people in the state. Although the system of public schools 
was, he said, in a trial state, in his opinion the people were to 
be congratulated that so much had been done and "that the 
future promises so much. " " In no section, ' ' said the Governor, 
"is there any opposition to the education by the State of the 
youth of both races, and within a few years, we may confidently 
expect tc see securely established a system which will place the 
free schools of Mississippi in the front rank with those of the 
older states of the Union." 146 In his message of 1878 Governor 
Stone repeated what had been said in his message the year be- 
fore, i. e., "that every effort calculated to improve the means and 
opportunities of education, shall receive from me most cheerful 
encouragement and substantial support." 147 In 1880 he said to 
the legislature: "I am gratified to be able to state to you that 
our system of Public Education continues to meet with the 
approval of the great mass of the people. A lively interest is 
manifested in the cause of education, and there is a general dis- 
position to maintain and improve the public schools. I commend 
the system to your fostering care, and it will afford me pleasure 
to co-operate with you in all proper measures for its advance- 
ment." 148 In 1882 Governor Stone reported "a slow, but 
steady improvement in our system of Public Education." He 
called attention to the fact that the report of the State Super- 
intendent for 1880 showed 5,569 teachers employed, and 263,704 

14e Senate Journal, 1878, p. 21. 

m Ibid 

""Senate Journal, 1880, p. 26. 


children in the public schools during that year, which was an 
increase of about 200 teachers and 20,000 children in school 
over the preceding year. In this same message he said: "While 
the people of the state are taxed heavily for public education, and 
have a right to expect good returns but few of our public schools 
are what they should be. This is due in great measure to the 
indifference of the parents of those children most in need of the 
benefits intended to be conferred by a system of free public 
schools; but as the country develops, and society improves, 
thse parents must necessarily keep pace with the progress of 
the times, and I trust that in a short time the schools in the rural 
districts throughout the State will be as well attended as those in 
the towns and villages. I earnestly wish that some means may 
be devised to popularize the cause of education among the illit- 
erate class of our people. The State imposes heavy burdens 
upon its citizens for educational purposes, and the facilities 
thus afforded should be turned to the best account." 149 

The decade 1876-1886 was one in which few radical changes 
were made in the system of public education. Speaking of the 
period beginning with the overthrow of the "carpet bag" gov- 
ernment in the state, 1876, Dr. Rowland says: 150 "The common 
school system remained for a long time hardly more than a sys- 
tem. The pressing problem for twenty years after the close of 
the war was the question of bread and meat, and next was the 
problem of the two races. Of late a great prosperity has dawned 
upon the State, and vastly more than ever before its resources 
are being utilized in such a manner that the profits inure to the 
benefits of the inhabitants generally. But the problem of two 
races remained very troublesome because the former indiffer- 
ence toward adequate public provision for common education 
was reflected in the public attitude on, the subject of negro edu- 
cation; also very troublesome and burdensome because school- 
houses, teachers, and every expense of education, must be dupli- 
cated; also because 'the problem of raising and distributing the 

""Senate Journal, 18S2, pp. 21-22. For Governor Stone's later work 
for the cause of education, see pp. 743-746, Stone's Administration 
(1890-1896), Ency. Miss. History, Vol. II, Rowland. 

"°Ency. Miss. Hits., Vol. II, pp. 618-619. 


school revenues rendered complex by reason of the uneven dis- 
tribution of the races — the negro population being densely ag- 
gregate in the rich counties. ' In 1882 the legislature created a 
fund for the building of school houses, to be distributed when 
it reached $15,000. This was increased in 1888 by the appro- 
priation thereto of the receipts from the two and three per cent 
funds, donated by the United States, which gave about $80,000 
for school-house building. This led to the erection of about 500 
new school-houses. Some counties wilfully misappropriated the 
money. Monroe added to her share and built 41 houses. ' ' One 
change of administrative policy, however, during this period was 
of great importance, and that was with regard to the powers and 
duties of the county superintendent. "Here," says Superin- 
tendent Preston, • ' we struck a great blow to the progress of pub- 
lic education. The state was yearly spending three-quarters of 
a million dollars, with no agents to see how it was spent, or 
whether the children were receiving an education/' 151 Many 
criticisms of the school system occurred during the decade 1876- 
1886 and the greater number of these were directed at the meth- 
ods of handling the school finances and at the incompetence of 
the teachers. Speaking of the enormous amount of money that 
had been expended by the State for free schools during this 
period Superintendent Preston said, 152 "It must be conceded 
by any fair minded man that it has been largely squandered, 
producing inadequate results, doled out month by month to indi- 
gent and incompetent school teachers who were placed in charge 
of the most sacred interests of the commonwealth, in many in- 
stances without even the semblance of a test as to their capacity 
and fitness.'' 

Although provision had been made prior to this period for 
the training of negro teachers nothing had been done for the 
training of teachers for the white schools. The teachers' exami- 
nations were given merely as a matter of form. In his report in 
1895 Superintendent Preston summarizes the situation as it ex- 

151 Ency. Miss. Hist. Vol. II, p. 619. 

^Ibid. J. R. Preston, Superintendent Public Education, 1886-1896. 


isted up to the passage of the school law of 1886. He says: 153 
''For the first fifteen years— from 1870 to 1885— the public 
schools, like a transplanted tree, manifested a low degree of vi- 
tality. The idea of popular education was combated openly 
and covertly, but it won its way steadily and gained vital force 
year by year. This increased strength was not manifested to 
any great degree in the quality of schools. It showed itself 
rather in the assaults made on the schools because of their in- 
efficiency, and in the annual changes in the law which prevented 
organic growth. The schools w T ere kept pretty much without 
plan. What one legislature enacted the next modified or re- 
pealed. A crisis was reached in 1886, and the legislature of that 
year made a complete revision of the school law." In the revi- 
sion of the school law made in 1886 the most prominent new 
features were as follows: Uniform school examinations; a new 
system of school districts; institutes for teachers; visitation of 
the schools by the county superintendent ; requiring the superin- 
tendent to fix salaries according to the size of the school, the 
grade of license held and the executive and teaching capacity 
of the teachers ; granting to smaller towns the privilege of be- 
coming separate school districts and of levying a tax or issuing 
bonds to build schoolhouses ; provisions for the payment of 
teachers' salaries. 154 After the passage of the law of 1886 it 
was necessary for teachers to be better qualified in order to pass 
the examination for teachers' license. Up until this time too 
the teachers were handicapped by having their salaries dis- 
counted, a thing which was no longer necessary after 1887 ; for 
prior to that time the schools had been run on the credit system, 
the taxes being collected at the end of the year. After 1887 the 
schools were run on a cash basis. 

The present constitution of Mississippi, the fourth which 
the state has had, was adopted in convention, November 1, 1890. 
As in the preceding constitution, it was made the duty of the 
legislature to provide, by establishing a uniform system of pub- 

"•Ency. Miss. Hist, Vol. II, p. 620. 

^Ency. Miss. Hist, Vol. II, p. 610. See report of 1895, Supt of Edu- 
cation, James R. Preston. 


lie schools, for the education of all children between the ages 
of five and twenty-one years. 155 Section 202 of Article 8 of 
the Constitution of 1890 provides for a state superintendent of 
public education, as was done by Section 2 of Article VIII of the 
Constitution of 1869. The provision for the state board of edu- 
cation was left unchanged by the constitution of 1890. 156 Like- 
wise provision for the office of county superintendent of edu- 
cation remained the same as in the former constitution. 157 The 
minimum requirement of four months for a public school in eaeh 
school district was retained. 158 The common-school fund was 
provided for in Section 206, Article 8 of the new constitution. 159 
The Constitution of 1869 was silent on the question of separate 
schools for the white and the black races. The new constitution 
provided that ''Separate schools shall be maintained for chil- 
dren of the white and colored races. 160 It was made unconstitu- 
tional for any part of the school funds to be appropriated for the 
support of sectarian schools of any kind. 161 Section 209 of the 
1890 Constitution makes it the duty of the legislature to pro- 
vide by law for the support of institutions for the education of 
the deaf, dumb and blind. 162 In establishing the first school 
system in 1870 the legislature made it unlawful for any school 
officer to be interested in the sale, proceeds, or profits of books, 
apparatus, and furniture to be used in any public school in the 
state. This statute law was adopted as a part of the constitu- 
tion of 1890. 163 The first constitution of the state, 1817, had 
provided * ' That the general assembly shall take measures to pre- 
serve from unnecessary waste or damage such lands as are or 
may hereafter be granted by the United States for the use of 
schools, within each township in this State, and apply the funds 

^See Const, of 1817, Art. VI, Sec. 16, 1832, Art. VII, Sec. 14; 1869, 

Art. VII, Sec. I; 1890, Art. 8, Sec. 201. 
m Sec. 203 of Art. 8, Const. 1890; Sec. 3 of Art. VIII, Const. 1869. 
" 7 Const 1890, Art. 8, Sec. 204; Const. 1869, Art. VIII Const. 1869. 
158 Const! 1890, Art. 8, Sec. 205; 1869, Art. VIII, Sec. 5. 
158 Const. 1869, Art. VIII, Sec. 6. 
1M Const. 1890, Art. 8, Sec. 207. 

'"Const. 1869, Art. VIII, Sec. 9; Const. 1890, Art 8, Sec. 208. 
,82 Const. 1869, Art. XII, Sec. 27. 
183 Art. 8, Sec. 210. 


which may be raised from such lands, by rent or lease, in strict 
conformity to the object of such grant ; but no lands granted for 
the use of such township schools shall ever be sold by any au- 
thority in this State." 16 * The constitution of 1890 says on this 
point: 165 "The legislature shall enact such laws as may be 
necessary to ascertain the true condition of the title to the six- 
teenth section lands in this state, or land granted in lieu thereof, 
in the Choctaw purchase, and shall provide that the sixteenth 
section lands reserved for the support of township schools shall 
not be sold, nor shall they be leased for a longer term than ten 
years for a gross sum; but the legislature may provide for the 
lease of any of said lands for a term not exceeding twenty-five 
years for a ground rental, payable annually ; and, in ease of un- 
cleared lands, may lease them for such short term as may be 
deemed proper in consideration of the improvement thereof, 
Avith right thereafter to lease for a term or to hold on payment 
of ground rented.' ' By the terms of the Constitution of 1890 
the rate of interest on the Chickasaw school fund and other trust 
funds for education is fixed at six per cent, and it was provided 
that the distribution of such interest should be made semi- 
annually, on the first of May and November of each year. 166 It 
was, however, held by the court 167 that this section of the Con- 
stitution is not self-executing, and that legislative appropriation 
would be necessary in order to distribute the fund. Finally, in 
thq new constitution the maintenance of the Agricultural and 
Mechanical College and the Alcorn College for negroes is de- 
clared to be the sacred duty of the state. Section 213 168 reads : 
"The state having received and appropriated the land donated 
to it for the support of agricultural and mechanical colleges by 
the United States, and having, in furtherance of the beneficent 
design of congress in granting said land, established the Agricul- 
tural and Mechanical College of Mississippi and the Alcorn 
Agricultural and Mechanical College, it is the duty of the state 

m Const. 1817, Art. VI, Sec. 20. 

'"Art 8 Sec. 211. 

'"Const 1890, Art. 8, Sec. 212. 

m State ex rel v. Cole, Auditor, 81 Miss., 174 (32 So., 314). 

""Art. 8, Const. 1890. 


to sacredly carry out the condition of the act of congress upon 
the subject, approved July 2, A D. 1862, and the legislature 
shall preserve intact the endowments to and support of said 
colleges. ' ' 

The biennial report of the State Superintendent for the 
scholastic years 1889-1890 and 1890-1891 contains a statistical 
resume of school conditions in the state from the time of the 
establishment of the system in 1870 down to 1892. This review 
of the progress of public education for the first twenty-year 
period after the adoption of a general plan shows clearly that in 
spite of almost insurmountable obstacles that had to be over- 
come the system was steadily advancing. Every year during the 
period showed an increase in the number of children enrolled in 
the public schools, and the higher educational institutions were 
gradually reaching a greater number of people. The increase 
in enrollment in the public schools for the five-year periods from 
1871 to 1891 is shown by the following figures taken from the 
biennial report of Superintendent Preston: 169 

1871_.white 66,257 colored 45,429 Total 111,688 

1876— " 76,021 " 90,178 " 166,204 

1881_. " 111,655 " 125,633 " 237,288 

1886— " 129,203 " 152,530 " 281,743 

1891— " 154,447 " 173,378 " 327,762 

The average number of teachers employed for the same periods 
increased from a total of 3600, both races in 1871, to 3978 (2973 
white, 1005 colored) in 1876; 6058 (3414 white, 2644 colored) in 
1881; 6852 (3840 white, 3012 colored) in 1886; 7546 (4334 
white, 3212 colored) in 1891. 170 In 1871 the total amount ex- 
pended on public schools was $950,000 ; 1876, $417,760 ; 1881, 
$757,757 ; 1886, $802,476 ; 1891, $1,169,088. 171 There was an in- 
crease in the number of public schools in the state from 5443 
(3154 white, 2289 colored) in 1886 to 6071 (3528 white, 2543 
colored) in 1891. 172 ^_^___ 

"•Biennial Report to legislature, Jan. 6, 1892, p. 3. 
"'Biennial Report to legislature, Jan. 6, 1892, p. 4. 
m Biennial Report Superintendent Education, 1892, p. 4. 
m Ibid., p. 5. 


The Superintendent's report of 1892 indicates progress "all 
along the line of public education during the past two years. ' ,173 
The report draws a comparison between the last year of the 
biennial report of 1888-1889 and that of 1890-1891 in which the 
following facts stand out: 

1. An increase in enrollment of 5775. The whites gained 
6012 and the colored decreased 174. 

2. An increase in average atendance of 5155, about equal- 
ly divided between the races. 

3. Increase in white teachers, 316; in colored, 156. 

4. Increase in first grade white teachers, 762; in colored, 

5. Increase in salaries of white teachers, $31,429; of col- 
ored, $2,090. 

6. Number of school-houses built, 710. 

7. Increase in number ofi schools, 249. 

8. Increase in number of high schools, 70. 

9. Increase in amount received for public schools, $11,741. 

10. Increase in amount expended on public schools, 

11. Increase in amount paid in teachers' salaries, $33,519. 

12. Total expended in eight towns for the erection in each 
of a public school building, $148,000. 

13. Amount expended on country school-houses, $175,000. 
These facts, says the report, show a remarkable growth in public 
education. "The people are taking a firm hold on the school 
system. The masses are manifesting an eagerness for education 
which foreshadows higher achievements. Our colleges and high 
schools have been full to overflowing; our forty-three separate 
school districts have been taxed to their utmost capacity; many 
of our country schools have been calling for more assistants. 
An educational era is upon the state. Our State institutions 
and denominational colleges are providing for the wants of those 
who seek collegiate education ; our 220 high schools and 43 schools 
in separate school districts, are providing preparatory facilities 

m lbld. p. 11. 


such as never existed before in the State * * * • " 1T * 
Again the Superintendent says : ' ' Public education has won the 
approval and endorsement of a great majority of the people of 
Mississippi. It has won the victory, over prejudice, over pov- 
erty, over the opposition engendered by our large negro popula- 
tion who pay little tax, and whose schools are a heavy burden on 
the property owners of the State." 175 

II. Common Schools 

The present system of public education in Mississippi is 
based upon the statutes of the state contained in the annotated 
code of 1906 and statutes amendatory thereof. There will be 
discussed, first, the public school administration, and secondly, 
the administration of higher education. 

The State Superintendent of Education stands at the head of 
the public school system. The office was created by the school 
law of 1870, prior to that time the secretary of state having 
been, by the law of 1846, designated as ex-officio general com- 
missioner of education. "The superintendent of public educa- 
tion shall have general supervision of the public free schools, 
and may prescribe such rules and regulations for the efficient 
organization and conducting of the same as he may deem neces- 
sary. He shall preside over all meetings of the board of educa- 
tion, and shall solicit reports from all public and private educa- 
tional institutions of the state." 1 The law makes it the duty 
of the state superintendent to apportion the state common school 
fund to the several counties and separate school districts, the ap- 
portionment to be made semi-annually and based upon the num- 
ber of educable children enumerated as provided by law in the 
counties and separate school districts, respectively ; and it is also 
the duty of this official to furnish the auditor with a certified 
copy of the apportionment, as well as to furnish a copy to the 
state treasurer, the superintendent of public education of each 
county, each county treasurer, and treasurer of each separate 

"♦Biennial Report, State Supt. Education, 1892, pp. 11-12. 
m Biennial Report, State Supt. Education, 1892, p. 13. 
*Ch. 138, Sec. 4818, Miss. Code, 1906. 


school district. 2 In his biennial report to the legislature the 
state superintendent must show: 

(a) The receipts and disbursements of the common school 

(b) The number of school districts, schools, teachers em- 
ployed, and pupils taught therein, and the attendance of pupils, 
and studies pursued by them. 

(c) The financial condition of the schools, their receipts 
and expenditures, value of school house and property, cost of 
tuition, and salaries of teachers. 

(d) The condition, educational and financial, of the nor- 
mal and higher institutions connected with the school system of 
the state, and, as far as it can be ascertained, of the private 
schools, academies, and colleges. 

(e) Such, general matters, information and recommenda- 
tions relating to the educational interests as he may deem im- 
portant. 3 

It is the duty of the state superintendent to require annual- 
ly, and as often besides as he may deem proper, of the county su- 
perintendents, detailed reports of the educational business of the 
several counties. The state superintendent is required to furnish 
the county superintendent with necessary instructions regarding 
these reports; 4 and he must "prepare, have printed, and furnish 
all officers charged with the administration of the laws pertain- 
ing to the public schools, such blank forms and books as may be 
necessary to the proper discharge of their duties, and the ques- 
tions for the examinations of teachers/' He is charged with, 
having the "laws pertaining to the public schools printed in 
pamphlet form, and publish therein forms for conducting school 
business, the rules and regulations for the government of schools 
that he or the board of education may recommend, and such 
other matters as may be deemed worthy and of public interest 
pertaining to the subject," 5 Although he is not given power to 
summ on county superintendents to meet him on such occasions, 

'Ibid., Sec. 4821. 

*Ch. 138, Sec. 4823, Miss. Code 1906. 
*Ch. 125, Sec. 4492, Miss. Code 1906. 
*Ch. 125, Sec. 4493, Miss. Code 1906. 


the state superintendent may meet in conference with the 
county superintendents of each judicial district or of two or 
more districts combined, from time to time, the object of such 
meetings being ' ' to accumulate facts relative to the examination 
and qualifications of teachers, methods of instruction, text- 
books, institutes, visitation of schools, and other matters embraced 
in the public school system. ' ' 6 The law makes it obligatory upon 
the state superintendent that he at» the request of any county 
superintendent, give his opinion, upon a written statement of 
the facts, on all questions and controversies, arising out of in- 
terpretation and construction of the school laws in regard to the 
rights, powers and duties of school officers and county superin- 
tendents, and that he keep a record of all such decisions. 7 In 
this work the state superintendent has the assistance of the 
attorney general, whose duty it is to examine the statement of 
facts presented to him by the state superintendent of education 
and suggest the proper decision to be made upon such facts. 
The state superintendent is required to advise the county super- 
intendent upon all matters involving the welfare of the schools. 8 
Through his connection with the State Board of Education, the 
State Board of Examiners, the Text-book Commission, 9 the Illit- 
eracy Commission, and the Educational Commission 10 the State 
Superintendent exercises important administrative powers. His 
activities as a member of these boards will be examined in con- 
nection with the work of these central administrative agencies. 

The personnel of the State Board of Education as has been 
noted, is fixed by the constitution 11 to be composed of the state 
superintendent of education, the secretary of state, and attorney 
general. By the constitution this board is given the manage- 
ment and investment of school funds, and the board is to per- 
form such other duties as may be prescribed. The law provides 

8 Ch. 125, Sec. 4494, Miss. Code, 1906. 

Ibid., Sec. 4495. 

Ibid., Sec. 2296. 

•See infra., et seq. 

"Temporary commission, see House Current Resolution No. 58 — Laws 

of 1916, Infra, p. 97. 
"Supra., p. 63. 


that the board may appoint the time of meeting, "and a called 
meeting of the board may be held at any time upon the call of 
a member thereof." 12 The board of education decides all ap- 
peals from the decision of the county superintendents, or from 
the decisions of the state superintendent; "but all matters re- 
lating to appeals shall be presented in writing and .the board's 
decision shall be final." 13 

Under certain restrictions, the state board may remove 
county superintendents of education. The law specifies the con- 
ditions under which such removals may be made. 14 There is lit- 
tle likelihood of the state board exercising this prerogative. The 
board is required to audit all claims against the common school 
fund, and allow so much, as may be justly due, not to exceed the 
amount allowed by law ; 15 to fix the expenses of the state super- 
intendent 's office; 16 and to "regulate all matters arising in the 
practical administration of the school system which are not 
otherwise provided for ; and it may adopt a course of study to be 
pursued in the schools and may designate a day to be observed 
as arbor day, which shall be devoted to the planting of trees 
and otherwise improving the school grounds. 17 Under the clause 
of the law which gives to the state board the power to * ' regulate 
ail matters arising in the practical administration of the school 
system which are not otherwise provided for" the board is able 
to exert a great influence in directing the educational affairs of 
the state. This provision has been made for a considerable de- 
gree of centralization of administration which would otherwise 
be impossible. 

Though not a member of the State Board of Examiners the 
Superintendent appoints this board. The law provides that 
"there shall be a state board of examiners which shall consist 
of three members, who shall be first grade teachers of scholarly 
attainments and of successful experience, to be appointed by 

n Ch. 125, Sec. 4486, Miss. Code, 1906. 

"Ibid., Sec 4487. 

"Ibid., Sec! 4488. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4489. 

w Ibid., Sec. 4490. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4491. 


the state superintendent of education." 18 It is the duty of the 
state board of examiners to "aid the state superintendent of 
education in preparing all examination questions for the teachers 
of the state, to grade papers of applicants for professional and 
state licenses, to hear and decide all appeals from teachers or 
county superintendents regarding examinations; to examine all 
applicants or candidates for the office of county superintendent 
under regulations passed by the state board of education." 19 
The members of the state board of examiners receive as compen- 
sation for their services five dollars from each applicant for pro- 
fessional license, five dollars from each applicant or candidate 
for county superintendent of education in the several counties 
of the state, and fifty cents for each applicant for state license. 20 
The state Text-book Commission is an important agency of 
the central school administration. There are eight members of 
this commission, besides the state superintendent who is ex- 
officio chairman of the commission. The governor appoints 
"eight educators of known character and ability in their pro- 
fession, and engaged in public work as teachers, not more than 
one to be selected from each congressional district, who, together 
with the state superintendent of education ' ' constitutes the text- 
book commission. It also provides that "in no case shall the per- 
son selected be related to the ex-officio member by affinity or con- 
sanguinity. " 21 It is the duty of the text-book commission to 
select and adopt a uniform series of text-books for use in the 
public schools of the state. Such books as are selected by the 
commission are used for a period of five years, 22 and it is unlaw- 
ful for any teacher of any public school to use any books J ' upon 
which the same branch other than those adopted by said text- 
book commission," except as provided by law. Each member 
-of the commission takes an oath that he will discharge all duties 
devolving upon him as a member of the commission ; that he has 
no interest, direct or indirect, in any contract that may be made 

"Code 1906, Sec. 4551. Laws of 1896, Ch. 106. 

"Ch 125, Sec. 4552, Miss. Code 1906. Laws of 1896, Ch. 106. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4554. 

"Ibid. Sec. 4594. 

a Ch. 125, Sec. 4596, Miss. Code, 1906. 


by the commission; that he will receive no personal benefit or 
benefits therefrom ; and that he will carefully examine all books 
submitted for inspection and will make the best selection possi- 
ble of any and all books to be used in the public schools of the 
state. 23 By an act of the legislature of February 9, 1912 the 
text-book commission was prohibited from changing more than 
twenty-five per cent of the books in use at any regular state 
adoption. 24 This law was enacted to save the great inconvenience 
brought about by the frequent changes made of the text-books 
for the public schools; but the legislature yielded to requests 
from various schools officers, and this part of the law was re- 
pealed in 1918. 25 The law specifies quite definitely how the 
choice of books must be made. 26 These statutes will be examined 
presently in the discussion of text-books. 27 The commission is 
required to keep a journal of its proceedings. Members of the 
commission must not accept employment or receive gifts or do- 
nations from book dealers. 28 As to the compensation of mem- 
bers of the text-book commission, the superintendent of public 
education, as ex-officio member, serves without pay. The 
other members of the commission receive five dollars per 
day during the time they are actually employed, not to exceed 
thirty days a year. All members of the commission receive ten 
cents a mile for each mile actually traveled from their homes to 
the place of meeting and return. 29 

The Illiteracy Commission was created by an act of the 
legislature approved March 21, 1916 entitled "An act to provide 
for the creation of a commission for the removal of adult illit- 
eracy in Mississippi, to be known as 'the Mississippi illiteracy 
commission ' and to provide for the duties and powers thereof." 30 
The Mississippi Illiteracy Commission as created by this act is 
composed of five persons, "both men and women, including the 

"Ch. 168, H. B. No. 124, Sec. 1, Act approved Feb. 12, 1912. 

"See Section 4598, ff., Ch 125, Code 1906. 

"Laws 1918, Ch. 143, pp. '149-150. 

"Supra., p. 71. 

"Sec. 4608, Ch 125, Code 1906. 

"Sec. 4614, Ch.' 125, Miss. Code 1906. 

•Ibid., Sec. 4618. 

"H. B. No. 330, Laws of 1916, sections 1-7 inclusive. 


state superintendent of education, who shall be ex-officio mem- 
ber thereof." The commissioners are appointed by the state su- 
perintendent of education and according to law ' * shall be select- 
ed for fitness, ability and experience in matters of education, and 
their acquaintance with the conditions of illiteracy in the state of 
Mississippi and its various communities." 31 The commissioners 
elect from their own membership a president and a secretary- 
treasurer. It is made the duty of the commission "to make re- 
search, collect data, and procure the services of any and all com- 
munities of the state looking to the obtaining of more detailed 
and definite knowledge as to the true conditions of the state in 
regard to its adult illiteracy, and report regularly the results of 
its labors to the governor, and to perform any other act which. 
in its discretion, will contribute to the elimination and enlight- 
enment of illiterate persons in the state of Mississippi." the legis- 
lature made no appropriation for the work of the Illiteracy 
Commission. The Commission was merely authorized to make 
use of any funds which might come into the hands of the Com- 
mission from other sources than by appropriation from state 
funds. 32 With the proper funds to prosecute the work, this 
commission would be able to take an important part in the gen- 
eral plan of educational administration and development in the 

The Educational Commission was created in 1916 by "A 
concurrent resolution creating an educational commission to pre- 
pare a code of school laws and report same to the legislature of 
1918." Although this was a temporary commission it is inter- 
esting to note the reasons for the creation of such a body. The 
resolution 33 stated that the main body of the school laws of the 
state were enacted more than twenty-five years ago when the 
public school system was in its formative period; that in an ef- 
fort to modify the old laws to meet new conditions and needs, 
amendments had been added until contradictions and confusions 
were frequent; and that economy and efficiency in the adminis- 

' "Laws 1916, H. B. No. 330, Sec. 1. 
"Laws 1916, H. B. No. 330, Sees. 4-6. 

"House Concurrent Resolution No. 58, Laws of 1916, Ch. 603, p. 642, 
adopted by the House and Senate April 6, 1916. 


1 ration of the important and rapidly growing public school sys- 
tem made necessary better school laws. 

Under the terms of the resolution the Educational Commis- 
sion was composed of three members of the House, appointed 
by the speaker, two members of the Senate, appointed by the 
lieutenant governor, and two school men, appointed -by the gov- 
ernor, to serve without pay with the governor and the state 
superintendent of education. The commission was called upon 
by the resolution to make a thorough study of the school laws 
and school systems of other states and countries, and to compile 
a complete code of school laws for the state of Mississippi, which 
was to be submitted to the legislature in January 1918, with the 
view of having the code enacted into law. The legislature failed 
to enact into law the code submitted by the Educational Com- 

As ex-officio member of the board of trustees of the state 
university and colleges the state superintendent exercises an in- 
fluence in the administration of higher education in the state. 34 

At the head of the county school system is the county super- 
intendent of education. The law provides that ''there shall be 
a superintendent of public education in each county, who shall 
be elected by the people, whose term of office shall be for four 
years. Before anyone shall be elected to the office he shall have 
attained the age of twenty-one years, and shall be a qualified 
elector and a resident citizen of the state for four years and of 
the county for two years immediately preceeding his election, 
and shall have passed the examination provided for * * * * 
and received a certificate accordingly." 35 As to the examina- 
tion which the candidates for county superintendent shall pass, 
the law says, "all applicants or candidates for the office of 
county superintendent shall pass an examination on all branches 
required for first grade license, and in addition on the art of 
teaching. The examination shall be held in the county of the 

"Infra., pp. 131-133. 

*Ch. 137, Sec. 4809, Miss. Code 1906, See Miss. Ed. Advance, Vol. 

10, No. 11, June 1919, pp. 42-44 for suggestions for improvement 

of certification of candidate for Co. Supt. Ed. 


applicant by the state board of examiners. 36 The examinations 
may be held in Jackson where the candidates prefer, and when 
the candidates "give the superintendent of education ten days' 
notice by registered letter. ' ' No county superintendent of edu- 
cation is allowed to teach any school during his term of office. 37 
By the terms of the law it is the duty of the countp superin- 
tendent : 38 

(a) To employ for each school under his supervision, such 
teacher or teachers as may be recommended by the local trustees ; 
but the teacher shall hold his certificate of proper date and grade 
and execute the required contract. 

(b) To examine the monthly reports of teachers and re- 
quire the signatures of a majority of the trustees certifying the 
accuracy of the report, and upon report thus certified to issue a 
pay-certificate showing the amount of salary due, and the scho- 
lastic month for which it is issued. The pay-certificates must be 
in the form prescribed by the board of education and a stub 
duplicate made out and preserved in this office. 

(c) To fix the salaries of teachers and to make contracts 
with them. 

(d) To enforce the course of study adopted by the board 
of education, and the uniform text-books adopted for the county. 

(e) To enforce the law and rules and regulations in ref- 
erence to the examination of teachers. 

(f) To visit the schools and require teachers to perform 
all their duties. 

(g) To select and employ teachers for the public schools 
whose trustees fail to report a selection within ten days of the 
time fixed by the county school board for the beginning of the 
term. ' 

(h) To administer oaths in all cases of teachers, trustees, 
and others relating to the schools, and to take testimony in ap- 
peal cases under the school law. 

"Code 1906, Sec. 4811. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4815. 

"Miss. Code 1906, Ch. 125 Sec. 4497. 



(i) To keep on file and preserve in his office the biennial 
report of the superintendent of public education and all circu- 
lar letters sent out by him and a copy of the school law. 

(j) To distribute promptly all reports, laws, forms, circu- 
lars and instructions which he may receive for the use of school 
officers and teachers, from the state superintendent of public 

(k) To carefully preserve all reports of school officers and 
teachers, and, at the close of the term of office, deliver to his 
successor all records, books, documents, and papers belonging to 
the office, taking a receipt for the same, which shall be filed in 
the office of the chancery clerk. 

(1) To make annually, on or before the first day of Octo- 
ber, a written report of the board of supervisors and mayor and 
board of aldermen of the municipality constituting a separate 
school district, showing the name, sex, and color of the teachers 
employed during the preceding scholastic year, the number of 
months taught by each, and the aggregate amounts of pay- 
certificates issued to each and all ; and the report shall be filed in 
the office of the chancery clerk or the municipality clerk, as the 
case may be, and be compared by said officer with the pay- 
certificates of the county superintendent for the period embraced 
in the report 

(m) To file with the chancery and municipal clerks, before 
issuing any pay-certificates for the current term, lists of the 
teachers employed, and the monthly salary of each as shown by 
the contract, and to add to the list any teachers subsequently 

(n) To keep in his office and carefuly preserve the public 
school record provided; to enter therein the proceedings of the 
county school board, the decisions of appeal cases, and other 
official acts; a list of the teachers examined, licenses, and em- 
ployed ; and, within ten days after they are rendered, to record 
the date required from the monthly and term reports of teachers, 
and the annual reports of county and separate school district 
treasurers; and from the summaries of records thus kept, to 
render, on or before the first of September an annual report to 


the state superintendent in the form and containing the par- 
ticulars required. 

(o) To observe such instructions and regulations as the 
board of education may from time to time prescribe, and make 
special reports to those officials whenever required; and 

(p) To perform such other duties as may be required of 
him by law or rules and regulations of the board of education ; 
and in no case shall he receipt for a teachers' warrant, or collect 
the money on the same 

Before the law made it obligatory upon county superintend- 
ents to make annual reports to the state superintendent of edu- 
cation it was impossible to obtain complete statistics or other in- 
formation concerning the educational work of the various coun- 
ties. The law provides that if a county superintendent fails to 
make his annual report to the state superintendent by the fif- 
teenth day of September, he forfeits fifty dollars of his salary. 
It is required of the county board of supervisors, upon receiving 
from the state superintendent of public education notice of such 
failure, to deduct the amount forfeited from the salary of the 
county superintendent. 39 The county superintendent is re- 
quired to keep regular office days. He is required to make to 
the board of supervisors and mayor and board of aldermen of 
a municipality constituting a separate school district, reports 
for each scholastic month, showing the amount of pay-certifi- 
cates issued for that month, the schools visited, the date of 
visitation, and the time he spent in each school during his visit. 
The penalty for failure to make the monthly report is the with- 
holding of the salary until such report is on file. 40 The salary 
of the county superintendent is paid out of the common school 
fund, on allowance of the board of supervisors after it has ap- 
proved the report required to be made to it every month by the 
superintendent. The salary is fixed at five per cent of the 
total school fund received by the county and separate school 
districts annually; "but a county superintendent shall not re- 
ceive more than $1,800, nor less than $1,000 per annum, and in 

w Miss. Code 1906, Ch 125, Sec. 4498. 
♦•Ibid., Sec. 4500. 


fixing the salary for any year it shall be based on the amount of 
school fund received by the county and separate school districts, 
and other taxing districts, during the preceding scholastic 
year." 41 It is provided further, that the board of supervisors 
may fix the salary of the county superintendent at any amount 
greater than five per cent of the school fund not to exceed 
$1,800. The county superintendent "in no case shall .... 
pursue any other secular profession or business of a public 
nature, but shall devote his entire time to the duties of his of- 
fice." 42 Municipalities constituting separate school districts and 
rural separate school districts are required to pay their propor- 
tionate part of the salary of the county superintendent of edu- 
cation, estimated upon the amount of funds received from the 
state distribution. 

The amount of personal supervision of county schools by 
the county superintendent is indirect rather than direct. The 
county superintendent is required to visit all the schools in his 
county at least once during the term, and for every school not so 
visited, the board of supervisors must, on proof thereof, deduct 
ten dollars from the superintendent's salary. The nature of 
these visits precludes the possibility of any great degree of real 
direction by the county superintendent. The law requires but 
one visit by the county superintendent during the school term, 
and it is prescribed that "On the first visit he shall remain at 
least two hours, and shall, in county schools, correct any de- 
ficiency which may exist in the classification of pupils or the 
government of the school; and in separate school districts he 
shall call the attention of the trustees to such deficiencies for 
correction by them. He shall note down the condition and value 
of the building and lot, and of the furniture, the methods of 
instruction, the branches taught, and his estimate of the ability. 
of the teacher to conduct a school. He shall give such direc- 
tions and make such recommendations as he deems expedient 

"Miss. Code 1906, Sec. 4501. 

"Miss. Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4501. The provision of the act re- 
quiring the time of the county superintendent, in the discretion 
of the board of supervisors of any county, may be suspended until 
January 1, 1920. 


and needful to secure the best results in the instruction of the 
pupils, and shall examine the classes to see that thorough work 
is done. He shall urge patrons to provide their children with 
comfortable and well-furnished school-houses. ' ,43 

The law specifies that "in all controversies arising under 
the school laws, the opinion and advice of the county superin- 
tendent shall first be sought, from whose decision an appeal may 
be taken to the state board of education, upon a written state- 
ment of the facts, certified by the county superintendent or by 
the secretary of the trustees. ' ' 44 The county superintendent is 
given the right to suspend or remove any teacher or trustee 
from office, except in separate school districts, for incompetency, 
neglect of duty, immoral conduct, or other disqualification. 
"And for the purpose of conducting inquiries and trials, the 
superintendent has the same power as a justice of the peace to 
issue subpoenas for witnesses, and to compel their attendance 
and giving of evidence by them." 45 When on account of re- 
moval, death, resignation, or other cause, a vacancy occurs in 
the position of school trustee or teacher, it becomes the duty of 
the county superintendent "within ten days after the vacancy 
occurs or as soon thereafter as practical, to supply the same by 
appointment. ' ,48 The county superintendent may also for just 
cause revoke the license of a teacher, but in such case the teach- 
er is allowed an appeal to the state board of education. 47 A 
record of the names of all trustees in the county must be kept 
in the office of the county superintendent ; 48 he must not spec- 
ulate in teachers' warrants; 49 and he may, when prevented by 
sickness from attending to the duties of his office, appoint a 
deputy, who is authorized to discharge all the duties of the 
office. 50 

The law specifies two more powers which are exercised by 

"Miss. Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4502. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4503 

"Miss. Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4504. 


"Ibid., Sec. 4505. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4507 

"Ibid., Sec. 4508*. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4509. 


the county superintendent of education, first, pertaining to 
teachers' register and outline map, and secondly, pertaining to 
contracts with teachers. It is made the duty of the county su- 
perintendent "to prepare, on township blanks, an outline map, 
showing the number of the sections and parts of sections em- 
biaced in each school district outside of the separate school dis- 
trict, and to paste the same in the school register for the district 
before delivering it to the teacher thereof. It shall be unlawful 
to issue a pay-certificate to the teacher of any district not estab- 
lished and recorded in accordance with the provisions of the 
law." 51 As to the contracts with teachers it is provided that 
"it shall be the duty of the superintendent to make a contract 
in the form prescribed by the board of education, with every 
duly licensed teacher, who has been selected by the trustees ac- 
cording to law or appointment by himself. The contract shall 
be signed in duplicate by the superintendent and by the teacher, 
each retaining one part ; and it shall show the name of the school, 
the position of the teacher, whether principal or assistant, and 
the monthly salary. In addition to the fixed salary, there 
shall be the salary in case the attendance decreases to a 
number for which the conditional amounts would be a fixed sal- 
ary" 52 The law also specifies the conditions under which con- 
tracts will be held valid. 53 

The county school board next to the county superintendent 
is the most important administrative agency of the county school 
unit. The law provides for a county school board, consisting of 
one member from each of the five supervisor's districts, to be 
appointed for a term of four years, by the superintendent, with- 
in ninety days after his term of office begins. The appointments 
made by the county superintendent to, the county school board 
must be ratified by the board of supervisors. For neglect of 
duty the superintendent may remove a member of the school 
board and appoint another member to fill the vacancy thus 

"Miss. Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4517. 

"Ibid, Sec. 4560,' 



created. 54 In order to qualify for the duties of their office the 
members of the school board are required to subscribe to the 
oath of office before the county superintendent. They receive 
as compensation for their services three dollars for each day's 
actual service, but the law requires that ' ' they shall not be paid 
for more than five days in any one year." 55 The county super- 
intendent is president of the county school board and he is re- 
quired to "convene it annually, prior to the first day of August, 
to define the boundaries of the school districts of the county out- 
side of the separate school districts, or to make alterations there- 
in, and to designate the location of the school house in each dis- 
trict, if not already located." 56 Where there is not more than 
one chartered school in a district the county board is directed by 
the law, if it be so desired by the authorities of the chartered 
school, to locate the public school of the district at the site of 
such chartered school. 57 It is made mandatory upon the county 
school board that separate districts be provided for the white and 
the colored races. The districts for each race must embrace the 
whole territory of the county outside the separate school dis- 
tricts. In establishing the districts the school board is restrict- 
ed by the law, which requires that: "A regular school district 
shall not contain less than forty-five educable children of the 
race for which the district is established, except where too great 
distance or impassible obstructions would debar children from 
school privileges ; in such cases the school may, in its discretion, 
establish a regular district containing not less than fifteen edu- 
cable children." 58 The law states what shall be considered 
"impassable obstructions." 59 Although as a rule a district 
must lie wholly within one county, where there is an obvious 
reason why this practice should not be followed "adjacent parts 
of counties may, by the county school board, be embraced in a 
line school district, the superintendent previously consenting 

"Miss. Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4510. 

"Ibid., Sec 4511. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4512. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4513. 

"Miss. Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4514. 



thereto and reporting to the board the territory to be so includ- 
ed." It is further provided that "trustees of such districts 
may reside in either county. The teacher may be licensed in 
either county, but the superintendent must previously agree 
upon the amount of salary to be paid, and each must contract 
with the teacher for the proportionate part of the salary, and 
shall require the teachers' monthly reports to him to show the 
statistics of the whole school, and also separately those of his 
county. In defining the boundaries of school districts the 
school board is required to ' ' pay due regard to the larger water- 
courses of the county, using parts of them as boundary lines 
whenever practicable. In counties not laid off in townships, 
the metes and bounds of the school districts shall be defined by 
streams, by the line of farms, or otherwise. ' ' 60 The districts 
must be so arranged as to place all children within reasonable 
distance of a school house, and one public school must be main- 
tained in each district, except where less than five children at- 
tend school in the district, in which case it is required of the 
county superintendent that he discontinue the school at the end 
of any scholastic month. 61 

In addition to the superintendent and the county board of 
education there is, third, the county board of examiners which 
is an important part of the administrative machinery of the 
county school system By the laws of 1900, Chapter 113, an- 
nually two first grade teachers are appointed by the county su- 
perintendent, prior to the fall examination and with the county 
superintendent they constitute the examining board for each 
county. It is unlawful for the county superintendent to ap- 
point upon this board any person related to him ' ' by affinity or 
consanguinity," and it is provided that no teacher of a normal 
or training school shall be appointed on the board. The county 
board of examiners conduct all examinations of teachers, and 
"as a board and not individually" review and grade the exam- 
ination papers submitted by applicants for license to teach. The 
teachers comprising the board receive two dollars and a half for 

"Miss. Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4514. 
"Ibid., Sec 4515 


each day of actual service in holding the examination, and 
twenty-five cents additional for grading the papers of each ap- 
plicant. The compensation given the examiners is paid out of 
the school fund in the same manner as teachers' salaries are paid. 
The county superintendent of education fills all vacancies that 
occur in the board of county examiners. The time and place 
of holding the county examination is fixed by the law. 62 As 
amended by the legislature of 1916, the law requires that "the 
examinations shall be held upon questions prepared by the state 
superintendent of education and sent, sealed, to the county su- 
perintendent, to be opened by him in the presence of the teachers 
after they have assembled in the examination room and after the 
seals have been inspected by the examiner." The procedure 
to be followed in the examination is also specified in the law. 63 
It is provided that "no applicant shall stand the examination 
in any county for the purpose of having the license transferred 
to the resident county of the applicant, unless authorized by the 
state board of examiners. ' ' 64 

Before giving attention to the organization and administra- 
tion of the separate school districts, it is germane to the purpose 
of this discussion to examine the administration of two special 
types of county schools which although established scarcely a 
decade ago have brought about revolutionary changes in the 
school system of the state. Under the laws of 1908 and 1910, 
respectively, county agricultural high schools and consolidated 
schools have been organized in every section of the state. The 
first legislative act providing for the establishment of County 
Agricultural High Schools in Mississippi was passed in 1908. 65 
After three or four schools were established and put into opera- 
tion, in 1909 the Supreme Court of the state declared the act un- 
constitutional, the court's decision being based on the ground 
that the law did not provide equal advantages for the races. The 
court said Chapter 102 of the laws of 1908 "authorizing a coun- 

"Laws of 1902, Ch. 106, Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4538. 

"Miss. Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec 4539. 


"Lawe of 1908, Ch. 102, S. B. No. 302, Sections 1-6, inclusive. 


ty to establish one agricultural high school for instruction of its 
white youth alone, and to support it by a tax on all the taxable 
property in the county, is violative of the Fourteenth Amend- 
ment of the Constituiton of the United States, its necessary ef- 
fect being to abridge the privileges and immunities of a class 
of citizens, or deny them the equal protection of the laws." 68 
The legislature of 1910 passed a new act providing for the es- 
tablishment of County Agricultural High Schols, and also pass- 
ed an act validating the locations of those schools which had been 
established under the law of 1908. The law of 1910, so drafted 
as to meet the requirements of constitutionality on the point of 
equal advantages for the races, with amendments by subsequent 
legislatures, 67 is the law under which the agricultural high 
schools are now established and maintained. 63 As analyzed by 
Assistant State Superintendent W. N. Taylor 69 the fundamental 
provisions of the law are as follows : 

1. The County School Board is authorized and empowered 
to establish an Agricultural High School and determine its loca- 
tion. In making this provision it was necessary in order to 
meet constitutional requirements for the legislature to give the 
county board power to establish ' ' not more than two Agricultural 
High Schools in the county, and determine their location, one 
for white youths exclusively and the other for colored youths ex- 
clusively." 70 

2. Any community in the county has the right to bid for 
the location of an Agricultural High School, and at any time 
may request the County School Board to convene for the pur- 
pose of considering the bid to be submitted. 

3. A minimum of twenty acres of land must be provided; 
also a school building and dormitory facilities for at least forty 
boarders before the school may be accepted by the State Super- 
intendent for state support. 

-McFarland vs. Goins, 50 So. 493 

"Laws 1910, Chs. 122 and 126; i911, Ch. 11; 1912, Ch. 186; 1916 

Chs. 193 and 196. 
•State Dept Education Bulletin No. 10, 1917, p. 41. 
•Ibid., pp. 41-42. 
"Laws of 1910, Senate Bill No. 4, Ch. 122, Sec. 1, Approved March 

16, 1910. 


4. Two counties may co-operate and locate the school at, 
or near the county line. 

5. State support is furnished County Agricultural High 
Schools which have been approved by the State Superintendent 
of Education as follows : 

(a) Schools with less than thirty boarding pupils' in act- 
ual attendance for each month of the session, $1,500 annually. 

(b) Schools with more than thirty and less than forty 
boarders, $2,000 annually. 

(c) Schools with more than forty boarders, $2,500 an- 

(d) A bi-county school receives $3,000 annually from the 
state, and when the number of boarding students exceeds sixty, 
the bi-county school receives $3,500, and if the number of board- 
ers exceeds eighty, the school receives $4,000. 

6. After a County Agricultural High School has been es- 
tablished, it is mandatory on the board of supervisors to levy a 
tax on all the taxable property of the county for the maintenance 
and support of the school, said tax not to exceed two mills. 

7. If an Agricultural High School maintains a boarding 
attendance of thirty-five or more pupils, the tax levy for the 
support of the school cannot be submitted to an election. 

8. The law provides for instruction in the various High 
School branches, and in theoretical and practical agriculture, 
and in domestic science. 

9. Boards of supervisors are authorized under the law to 
issue bonds for the establishment and equipment of Agricultural 
High Schools. The expenditure of funds derived from this 
source is under the direction of the board of trustees of the 
school. 71 

The law places considerable responsibility upon the State 
Board of Education in administering a substantial part of the 
law concerning the operation of County Agricultural Hitrh 
Schools, e.g., pertaining to the review and correction of the 
curriculum, the selection of the location for a bi-county school 
when the County Scho ol Boards concerned cannot agree upon 

"Laws of 1910, Ch. 122, Senate Bill No. 4, Sections 1-9 inclusive. 



"Laws 1916, Ch. 193. See Bui. No. 12, State Dept. Pub. Ed. July 1919, 
p. 5. 

"See Bui. No. 12, State Dept. Ed., July 1919. 

"Laws of 1910, Ch. 122, Senate Bill No. 4, Section 3. 

this matter, the issuance of requisitions for state funds to be 
paid to an Agricultural High School, and the approving of plans 
for buildings. State aid may be withdrawn at any time, when 
the State Board of Education finds that a school is not being 
legally conducted for the purposes for which the schools are es- 
tablished. 72 

By provision of the 1910 law, as amended by the legislature 
of 1914, the administration of Agricultural High Schools is 
vested in a board of five trustees one from each supervisors' dis- 
trict, two of whom are elected by the board of supervisors, two 
by the county school board and the county superintendent of 
education constitutes the fifth member. 73 The regular term 
of these trustees is four years, not over two members going out 
at the same time. The trustees are given control of the prop- 
erty; they elect and fix salaries of all teachers in the agricultu- 
ral department of the school, and have full power "to do all 
things necessary to the successful operation " of the school. 74 
Each member of the board of trustees, the county superintendent 
excepted receives not over three dollars a day while on actual 
duty, and this amount is paid out of the County Agricultural 
High School funds. In connection with the administration of 
these schools the law further provides that when a common school 
is taught in connection with an Agricultural High School the 
election of teachers for the common school department is made 
by common school trustees in the same manner as for a separate 
common school. Where two adjacent counties unite in estab- 
lishing an Agricultural High School or two schools, one for each 
race, the government of the school is vested in eleven trustees 
instead of in five. Five of the eleven trustees are selected by 
each county, one from- each supervisors' district of the respec- 
tive counties, and the eleventh is chosen by the ten so selected. 
The law specifies the relations which shall obtain between the 


two counties in the administration of the bi-county Agricultural 
High Schools. 75 

The functions of the county Agricultural High Schools are : 
(1) To furnish for its pupils a good literary education of high 
school grade, including instruction in English, mathematics, 
science, history, modern languages, etc. ; (2) To furnish thorough 
training of high school scope along industrial lines, especially to 
maintain a four-year course in agriculture for boys and a paral- 
lel course in home economics for girls, giving the proper amount 
of time to both theory and practice; (3) To stimulate through 
extension work agricultural activities of the farmers of the coun- 
ty and to encourage improvement of farm and home life, co- 
operating in this work with the federal and state extension work- 
ers in the various comities; (4) To assist the farmers of the 
county by securing and furnishing to them literature on agri- 
cultural and rural problems; (5) To provide training for the 
boys and girls who will not be able to take a college course ; and 
(6) To serve as a training center for rural school teachers. 7 * 1 In 
regard to the training of rural teachers in the Agricultural High 
Schools Assistant Superintendent of Education Taylor says: 
"The Normal College can supply the demand for only a very 
limited number of trained teachers needed in the rural schools. 
The high school should, therefore, provide the facilities for a 
two-year elective teacher training course, so that its graduates 
by suitable scholastic, industrial, and professional training may 
be properly prepared to become the rural school teachers of the 
county. ' ' 77 

The following data on county Agricultural High Schools 
compiled by the State Department of Education in 1917 shows 
that over half of the eighty-two counties of the state up to that 
time had established such schools : 78 

"Laws of 1910, Ch 122, Senate Bill No. 4, Section 4. 

"See State Department Education, Bulletin No. 10, 1917, Assistant 

State Superintendent W. N. Taylor, pp. 42-43. 
"Ibid. p. 43. 
"Ibid.; p. 45. 


Number of schools now in operation 7 ' 44 

Number of schools now being built 3 

Total cost of school plants $1,161,577.00 

Number of acres of land, forty-four schools 3,190 

Average per school 72.5 

Monthly salary roll for forty-four schools $ 19,141.20 

Average per school $ 435.00 

Total support fund from county levy (44 schools) $ 194832.00 

Average per school $ 4,428.00 

Average cost of board $ 6.82 

Number of student boarders paying entire board by work 166 

Number of student boarders paying part board by work 1,176 

Number of graduates since 1910 1,207 

Number of graduates teaching in rural schools . 328 

Number of students session 1916-1917 5,346 

Number of boarders session 1916-1917 2,859 

Number of counties issuing bonds for A. H. S 18 

Amount of county bond issues $ 232,500.00 

The second special type county school is the consolidated 
school, or a school that has been formed by bringing together two 
or more schools into one. Many states during the past decade 
have adopted the plan of consolidation as a long step toward the 
solution of the rural school problem. The statistics of the state 
department of education show that in 1919, nine years after the 
movement for consolidating schools found a place in the statutory 
laws of Mississippi in 67 counties in the state there were 340 
consolidated schools, with 1,275 teachers and 40,000 pupils. Of 
this number of pupils attending the consolidated schools 16,450 
were transported daily in 820 transportation wagons. 80 This 
is a definite advance toward centralization in the county school 
system. There can be no consolidation without proper means 
of transportation, and so the first legislative act dealing in a prac- 
tical way with the problem of rural school consolidation had to- 
do with providing for the transportation of pupils. 81 This act 
designed to provide for the transportation of pupils when schools 
are consolidated declared that "where two or more schools are 
consolidated into one school by the county school board, the 
board of pu blic school trustees for said school, together with the 

"July, 1919, the number of Agricultural H. S. in the state 50, only one 
of which was for negroes, that being in Bolivar County. See Bui. 
No. 12, State Dept. Ed., July 1919, pp. 45-47. 

"Figures verified by State Dept. of Education February, 1919. For 
comparison with 1917 totals, see State Dept. Education, Bulletin 
No. 10, 1917, J. T. Calhoun, State Rural School Supervisor, pp. 10-11.. 

"Laws of 1910, Ch. 124, H. B. No. 58, Sections 1-4, inclusive. 


county superintendent, are authorized and empowered to pro- 
vide means of transportation for pupils. 7 ' 82 It was provided 
by the same act that should more than four schools be consoli- 
dated into one school, the salary of two teachers of the consoli- 
dated schools may be expended in the transportation of pupils of 
the schools which form the one new school. By the -laws of 
1916 83 means of transportation to and from the school house 
must be provided for pupils living two miles or more from the 
consolidated school. The expense of transportation is paid' out 
of the school fund of the county. In case of a consolidated 
school with territory composed of twenty-five square miles or 
more bonds may be issued for building purposes or other perma- 
nent improvement and a levy may be made for the purpose of 
maintaining the school as long as desired after the county public 
school term is out, or to supplement during the county term/* 
The consolidated school district may make its schools a graded 
school, and it has all the privileges granted by law to the 
separate school districts. 85 "These schools," says State 
Rural School Supervisor J. T. Calhoun, "are county public 
schools and as such are entitled to receive from county 
public school fund as much money as would be justly received 
by all of the schools of which the consolidated school is formed. 
In addition to this fund there is usually a levy on the property 
of the district for the purpose of raising additional funds. As 
a rule these schools are formed because of a desire for better 
school facilities. This desire usually results in a willingness to 
pay something extra." 86 President W. H. Smith 87 in discuss- 
ing the cost of consolidation is authority for the statement that 
"for the same expenditure the terms would be materially in- 
creased, and the efficiency of the school system practically 

B Laws of 1910, Ch. 124, H. B. No. 58, Sec. 1. 

'"Laws of 1916, Ch. 138, H. B. No. 194, Sec. 1. 

M Ibid., Sec. 3. See Bulletin No. 10 State Dept. Education, 1917, p. 10. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4. For privileges of separate school districts, see Miss. 
Code 1906 Sec. 4535. 

"Bulletin No. 10, State Dept Education, 1917, p. 13. 

"President of the Miss. A. & M. College, formerly State Elementary 
School Supervisor, and formerly State Superintendent of Educa- 


doubled." 88 Many of the advantages claimed for consolidated 
schools 89 have been demonstrated in the successful operation of 
such schools in Mississippi. 

The work of the Educational Commission which was created 
by the legislature of 1916 to " prepare a code of school laws and 
report same to the legislature of 1918," as has been noted, 90 did 
not secure the sanction of the 1918 legislature. There were cer- 
tain practical considerations which intervened and prevented 
the adoption of the plan contained in the proposed law submit- 
ted by the Educational Commission. However this may be, it 
is interesting to note the suggestions of the Commission concern- 
ing the reorganization of the administration of the county 
school system of the state. The proposed plan contained some 
evident improvements over the present method of county ad- 

The two features of the proposed county administration 
were, first, a County School Commission, and secondly, a County 
School Supervisor, these two agencies to take the place of the 
County School Board and the County Superintendent, respec- 
tively, under the present county organization. The County 
School Commission, composed of five members, one from each 
supervisors' district and elected by the qualified electors of the 
county at large, would have under its direction and control the 
public schools of the county outside of municipal separate school 
districts, including the county agricultural high schools. 91 No 
commissioners would be permitted to teach while holding office, 
and they should be "persons of good character and reputation 
.... have an intelligent interest in educational matters, .... 
and be familiar to some extent with public affairs." 92 As to the 
manner of qualification for the office of school commissioner the 
first proposal in the law was that persons willing to serve in 
this capacity should qualify with the State Board of Examiners, 

"State Dept. Education, Bulletin No. 6, 1911, p. 19. 

"See W\ H. Smith, State Dept. Education, Bulletin No. 6, 1911, pp. 

9-11; also, J. T. Calhoun, St. Dept. Education, Bulletin No. 10, 

1917, pp. 11-13. 
"Supra., p. 73. 

"Sec. 11, Ch. 3, of the proposed law. 
"Ibid. Sec. 12. 


which board should after due investigation certify to the County 
Election Commissioners of the county in which such persons re- 
side the names of those whom they deemed to possess the qualifi- 
cation required by law; but under pressure of political circum- 
stances this requirement was changed and those who would be 
county school commissioners would qualify by getting the en- 
dorsement of 25 qualified electors. Had the plan been adopted 
by the 1918 legislature it would have become the duty of the 
County Election Commissioners of each county to place on the 
ballot in the general election of 1918 and biennially thereafter 
the names of the persons certified to them as provided by law in- 
dicating in which Supervisor's District each person resided. 
The term of County School Commissioner was to be six years, 
two retiring every two years. The State Board of Education 
was given power to remove any commissioner for incompetency, 
neglect of duty, or immoral conduct, and to fill all vacancies 
which might occur in the various county school commissions. The 
commissioners were to receive five dollars for each day's actual 
service, not exceeding twenty days in each year, which amount 
was to be paid out of the common school fund, or Agricultural 
High School fund. Each County School Commission was to 
elect a permanent president from the five members of the com- 
mission, and the president was entitled to vote on all questions. 
One of the members was to be selected as secretary until the 
employment of a County School Supervisor. 

It was provided that the purpose of all meetings of the 
County School Commissions prior to January 1, 1920, should be 
"to confer with the State Department of Education, to study 
school conditions in their respective counties and to forecast 
their policy under the new administration." 93 On the first 
Monday in January, 1920, it would have been the duty of each 
school commission to meet in the office of the County Superin- 
tendent of Education, qualify as county officials and at their dis- 
cretion confirm any action previously taken by them as a com- 
mission. The outgoing County Superintendent, at his option, 
would have been employed by the School Commission on or be- 

*Sec 18, Ch 3, of the proposed law. 


fore January 1, 1920, "on a salary of not less than he receives as 
County Superintendent of Education. ' ' A County School Su- 
pervisor was to be employed by the School Commission on or be- 
fore January 1, 1920, the time set in the proposed law for Coun- 
ty Superintendents of Education to be superseded by County 
School Supervisors. The salary and term of office of County 
Supervisors were to be fixed by the School Commission. The 
School Supervisor was to serve as executive secretary of his 
County School Commission, and the Supervisor's duties in addi- 
tion to those fixed by law were to be prescribed by the County 

The County School Commission would be given power to 
remove from office trustees outside of municipal separate dis- 
tricts for incompetency, immoral conduct, or neglect of duty, 
and to fill all vacancies. The School Commission would have 
charge of the school property of the county. The commissions 
of the various counties would perform the following duties: (1) 
Establish school districts and fix the boundaries thereof and lo- 
cate school houses, of all public schools in the county outside of 
municipal separate school districts; (2) Consolidate schools, and 
provide for transportation as prescribed by law; (3) Have con- 
trol of the County Agricultural High Schools each County 
School Commission constituting the board of trustees of the 
County Agricultural High School; (4) With the advice of the 
County School Supervisor, to regulate the number of grades 
which may be taught in each county public school; (5) On ap- 
proval of the County School Supervisor, to employ and dismiss 
when incompetent, all teachers in the public schools outside of 
the municipal school districts, and to prescribe rules and regu- 
lations for the conduct of the teachers and pupils; (6) To decide 
the number of teachers to be employed in each school, on the 
general basis of one teacher for each thirty-five pupils or frac- 
tion thereof in actual attendance, except under certain condi- 
tions when one teacher may be allowed for every thirty pupils ; 
(7) To submit to the Board of Supervisors in due time a finan- 
cial budget showing the amount of county funds necessary to 
maintain the public schools of the county for a term not less 


than two months in each scholastic year, in addition to the four 
months provided for by the state or to supplement state funds 
during the four months; (8) To perform such other duties as 
may be prescribed by law, or may become necessary for the wel- 
fare of public education in the county. 94 

For the elective County Superintendent of Education the 
proposed plan would substitute a County School Supervisor ap- 
pointed by the County School Commission. This phase of the 
proposed law was based upon a practical consideration, viz., 
that the duties of the county school administrator are of such 
nature as to require a person of special professional training 
rather than one whose chief ability lies in his proficiency in 
catering to the whims of the electorate. The examinations for 
would-be county superintendent of education in the state, as pro- 
vided in the present laws have never been rigidly enforced. The 
percentage of failures recorded on these examinations is prac- 
tically nil. The political exigencies of the situation would nat- 
urally bring about this result, for the office of county superin- 
tendent is looked upon as strictly elective, and inasmuch as the 
electorate which places the State Superintendent in office is 
merely the sum total of the electorate of the various counties it 
behooves the State Superintendent, who appoints the State 
Board of Examiners not to have any great number of disgruntled 
office seekers throughout the state. 95 The fault lies in the 
system and not in the persons concerned therewith ; for the re- 
quirements of the examinations are perhaps not of such nature 
that the great majority of candidates for county superintendent 
would not qualify; but the arrangement as it stands at 
present is almost wholly a matter of form, and should either be 
abolished or strengthened. The proposed reorganization would 
make an attempt to combine the advantages accruing from local 
election on the one hand and selection based upon personal quali- 
fications on the other; the elective Cou nty School Commission 

M See Ch. 3, Section 19 of the proposed law. 

"Compare the difference between the method and procedure in ex- 
amining candidates for county superintendent of education and 
in examining candidates for state bank examiners. See infra., 
pp. 167-169. 


representing the former; the appointive County School Super- 
visor representing the latter. 

The County School Supervisor under the suggested plan 
would be named by the County School Commission. He need 
not be a resident of the county in which he is selected to serve 
as school supervisor, but it would be required that he be a resi- 
dent citizen of the state of Mississippi and ' ' a teacher of proven 
ability who holds a certificate from the State Board of Examin- 
ers setting forth the fact that his qualifications meet all the re- 
quirements of the State Board of Examiners." 96 The Super- 
visor would serve as executive secretary of the county school 
commission, 97 and he would Dot be permitted to teach while 
holding the office of county school supervisor. 98 It would be 
unlawful for the county supervisor to speculate in teachers' 
warrants. 99 Under the law the county school supervisor nor 
the trustees of any school districts should not contract with a 
teacher who did not hold a license valid for the scholastic year 
in which the school is to be taught, and of a grade sufficiently 
high to meet the requirements of the school. 100 The other re- 
quirements in the proposed law as to the duty of the county 
school supervisor were, in general, the same as performed by 
County Superintendent of Education under the present plan. 101 

To the extent that a rigid classification is possible, there are 
four kinds of public schools in Mississippi, viz., the Common 
County School without a tax levy, the Common County School 
with a tax levy, the Consolidated School, and the Separate Dis- 
trict School. The last named remains to be examined. These 
schools form an important part of the common school system of 
Mississippi. They are usually graded schools, and in addition 

to their work as primary schools the higher branches are taught 

- _> _ s , , , , 

•'Sec. 22, Ch. IV, of the proposed law. 

"Ibid., Sec. 24. 

"Ibid., Sec, 25. 

••Sec. 27, Ch. IV, of the proposed law 

,4w Ibid., Sec. 28. 

"'Ibid., Sec. 26. See Biennial Rpt. State Supt. Ed., 1915-1917, pp. 
6-7 for account of an experiment on county supervision of schools 
carried on with the help of Gen. Ed. Board of N. Y. C, in Pearl 
Plver County. 


in most instances. Speaking of separate district schools Judge 
Mayes says : 102 ' ' The act of 1870 provided that ' any incorporated 
city containing more than 5,000 inhabitants should constitute a 
separate school district. ' By the Revised Code of 1871 this privi- 
lege was further extended to cities having more than 3,000 in- 
habitants and the administration of the separate schools com- 
mitted to the city officials. In April, 1873, this privilege was ex- 
tended so as to embrace cities of more than 2,000 inhabitants; 
and finally, in 1878, so as to include cities of more than 1,000 
inhabitants." The Separate District approved April 6. 1916 103 
to amend the various sections and chapters of laws pertaining to 
separate school districts so as to harmonize conflicts, and to pro- 
vide for transportation into separate districts. On the subject 
of the organization of separate districts the law pro- 
vided that "Any municipality, by an ordinance of the 
mayor and board of aldermen thereof, or any incor- 
porated district with an assessed taxable valuation of 
not less than two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000.00), or 
any incorporated district of not less than sixteen square miles, 
by the county school board or county school boards, on a petition 
by a majority of the qualified electors therein, may be declared 
a separate school district, but shall not be entitled to the rights 
and privileges of a separate school district unless a free public 
school shall be maintained therein for a term of at least seven 
months in each scholastic year; provided, that there is an aver- 
age attendance of twenty-five pupils. ' ,104 The law prescribed in 
minute detail the conditions under which territory may be added 
to or released from municipal separate school district. 105 The 
regulations applying to the procedure in providing for the tax 
levy and bond issue by municipal separate districts is likewise 
definitely prescribed in the statutes. 106 The consolidation of 
municipal separate school districts is permissible under the law. 
Where two or more municipalities lie adjacent to or near each 

102 History of Education in Miss., pp. 287-288. 

103 H. B. No. 161, Sections 1-11, inclusive, Laws of 1916. 

104 H. B. 161, Section 1, inclusive, Laws of 1916. 

m Ibid., Section 3. 

10a Ibid., Sections 4 and 5. 


other and desire to form and maintain a joint separate school 
district they are allowed to do so. The law specifies the pro- 
cedure to be followed in the formation of such separate school 
districts. 107 The administration of such separate school districts 
is placed in the hands of board of five trustees "to be elected 
on the second Monday in April or at the first regular meeting 
prior thereto, the said trustees to be apportioned between the said 
municipalities according to the number of educable children in 
said entire separate school district, the board of mayor and 
aldermen or commissioners of each municipality to elect the 
number of trustees to which it is entitled. All the schools of a 
separate school district are placed under the control of five trus- 
tees, ' ' elected in a municipal separate school district by the board 
of mayor and aldermen." For the rural separate school districts 
the county superintendent is given authority to appoint the trus- 
tees, but when a majority of the qualified electors of a rural dis- 
trict petitions by the first day of April for the appointment of 
certain patrons as trustees, the county superintendent must ap- 
point those recommended. 108 For the separate school districts 
known asa <( line ' ' separate school district, that is, lying in more 
than one county, the trustees are appointed by the county super- 
intendent of the county in which the school building is situ- 
ated. 109 The separate district trustees are chosen for a term of 
three years, two being chosen each year for two successive years, 
and one the third year, as vacancies occur. The powers and du- 
ties of the trustees of separate school districts are definitely pre- 
scribed by law. 110 

It is provided for the regular school districts, which it will 
be remembered embrace the whole territory of the county out- 
side the separate school districts, that their administration shall 
be by three trustees, each to be chosen for a term of three years, 
but so chosen that one will be selected every year. The law re- 
quires that they be "persons of good character, patrons of the 

m Ibid„ Section 6 

'•Laws of 1916, H. B. No. 161, Sec. 9. 
m Ibid. 

IM Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4525, as amended in 1916, H. B. 161, Sec. 
10, approved April 6, 1916. 


school, and able to read and write." 111 These trustees are elect- 
ed by the patrons of the school, which is not the case in the sep- 
arate school districts. The law prescribes the time and the man- 
ner of conducting elections for district school trustees, 112 and 
how vacancies shall be filled. 113 The trustees must meet annual- 
ly on or before July fifteenth to elect teachers, and in case they 
fail to do so the county superintendent is authorized to appoint 
a licensed teacher and have the school taught during the winter 
term. 114 They must examine carefully the enumeration of edu- 
cable children who attend the school, as such enumeration is the 
guide of the county superintendent in determining the salary of 
teachers for the ensuing year. 115 The law prescribes the other 
duties of the district school trustees as follows: "The trustees 
may suspend or expel a pupil for misconduct, and shall look 
after the interests of their schools, visit the same at least once 
during each month by one or more of their number, see that fuel 
is provided, protect the school property and care for the same 
during vacation, and arbitrate difficulties between teachers and 
pupils ; but either party feeling aggrieved by their decision may 
appeal to the county superintendent, and from him to the state 
board of education. And the trustees may make provision for the 
comfort and welfare of the pupils ; but the same shall not involve 
an expenditure of money not already appropriated for the pur- 
pose by the proper authorities." 116 

A study of the school laws of the state reveals the fact that 
from the first attempt to establish a school system it was recog- 
nized that some special test of the fitness of teachers should be 
required. Until the school law of 1870 was enacted the tests given 
teachers were of a very superficial sort, and until that time the 
examining of teachers, where it was done at all, was left en- 
tirely to local officers. Likewise during the reconstruction period 
until the overthrow of the carpet-bag government in the state, 

m Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4518. 

112 Ibid., Sec. 4519. 

us Ibid„ Sec. 4520. 

m Miss. Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4522. 

" 5 Ibid., Sec. 4523. 

""Ibid., Sec. 4524. 


the examination of teachers amounted to little. Speaking of 
conditions during the reconstruction period Miss Timberlake 117 
says, "** Examination* were a mere farce, held orally by the 
county superintendent; He asked what questions he pleased, 
suiting them generally to the ability of the teacher whom he 
wished to put in charge of the school. ' ' Dr Rowland says of the 
period prior to the law of 1870, "Before this law went into 
effect almost any one who applied was licensed to teach. At 
the first state examination 70 per cent, of the applicants fell 
below grade. But improvement soon followed, in the midst of 
violent remonstrance." 118 The law of 1870 marks the begin- 
ning of a better method of securing teachers; later, the estab- 
lishment of normal schools, and departments of education in the 
state university and colleges, gave an additional impetus to the 
move for better prepared teachers ; and under the present plan 
of centralizing in the hands of state officials the responsibility of 
examining and licensing teachers the schools of the state are 
assured at least reasonably well trained teachers. The curricu- 
lum of the free public schools of the state is fixed by law, 119 and 
the examination for teachers' license is predicated upon the 
studies required to be taught in the public schools. It is unlaw- 
ful for a county superintendent or trustee of a separate school 
district to employ a teacher who does not hold a license valid 
for the scholastic year in which the school is to be taught, and 
of a grade sufficiently high to meet the requirements of the 
school. 120 Good moral character and "ability to govern a school" 
are made requirements, in addition to qualifying on the exami- 
nation, for those seeking license to teach. 121 Teachers' license 
that are granted in the state under the present laws are (1) first 
grade license, (2) second grade license, (3) third grade license, 
(4) license to teach special subjects, (5) State license, (6) pro- 
fessional life license, and (7) license for Agricultural high school 
teachers. The State Board of Education and the State Board of 

UT Vol # XII, Pub. Miss. Historical Society, p. 90. 

m Ency. Miss. History, Vol. II, p. 620. 

"'Code of 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4540, as amended by legislature of 1916. 

"•Code of 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4541. 

"»Ibid., Sec. 4542. 


Examiners are responsible for the licensing of all teachers in 
the state. The State Board of Examiners makes out all exami- 
nation questions and issues regulations governing examinations. 
To obtain a first grade license, the applicant must be ex- 
amined on spelling, reading, practical and mental arithmetic, 
composition, United States history, history of Mississippi, ele- 
ments of agriculture, civil government, elements of physiology 
and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcohol and 
narcotics on the human system, theory and practice of teaching, 
elementary algebra, advanced English, general science, modern 
history, and such other subjects as the board of education may 
prescribe. 122 The subjects prescribed by law for those seeking 
second grade license are as follows: spelling, reading, writing, 
mental arithmetic, practical arithmetic, elementary geography 
and composition, United States history, physiology, history of 
Mississippi, civil government and elementary agriculture. 1 - 3 To 
obtain a third grade license the applicant must be examined on 
the subjects required for second grade, and must make an aver- 
age grade of not less than sixty per cent, with not less than forty 
per cent, on any subject. 124 The state board of education, on the 
approval of the state superintendent of education, is authorized 
to provide examinations and make regulations for licensing 
teachers in music, manual training, domestic science, and of such 
other subjects as may be deemed necessary. 125 A general aver- 
age grade of seventy-five per cent on any subject, is required of 
the applicant for first or second grade license. Licenses of sec- 
ond and third grade are valid for one year. Licenses for the first 
grade, with a general average of eighty-five per cent., are good 
good for two years, and with a general average of ninety per 
cent., are good for three years. The second three years' license 
obtained after the expiration of the first is renewable in the 
county where issued as long as the holder continues to teach : but 

^Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4543. Theory and practice of teaching 
added September 1917; advanced English, general science and 
modern history added September 1918, 

m Code 1906, Ch. 125,Sec.4543. 

"♦Ibid., Sec. 4544. 

m Ibid., Sec. 4543. 


any teacher who has taught under a first grade license for five 
years consecutively is exempt from further examination. 126 

Any teacher may secure a state license by passing a satis- 
factory examination in the presence of the county superintend- 
ent, or other authorized agent of the state board of examiners, 
on the same subjects given on the first grade license ex*u ina- 
tion, provided applicants have their examination papers for- 
warded to the state board of examiners. Such license is valid 
for one, two or three years according to the value of the appli- 
cant's paper. Any applicant who receives the second three 
years' state license from the state board of examiners is exempt 
from further examinations, and the state license is valid in every 
county in the state. The state board of examiners may revoke 
licenses li for cause and where teachers discontinue to teach." 127 
A license secured in one county may be transferred to another 
county, thereby taking on the nature of a state license. The 
law provides that a teacher holding a license in one county and 
wishing to transfer to another county may direct the superin- 
tendent of education of the county where the examination was 
held to forward the examination papers and the license issued 
thereon to the state board of examiners, and if the grading of 
the county board is sustained by the state board of examiners, 
the license may be transferred to any county which the appli- 
cant may designate. Applicants for transfer license are re- 
quired to pay a fee of one dollar and fifty cents to the state board 
of examiners for grading their papers. 128 

In regulating the issuance of professional life license the 
law gives to the state board of education the power to issue 
such license to teachers of "recognized ability, moral character 
and scholarly attainments," who pass a satisfactory written ex- 
amination, held as prescribed by the board, on algebra, geome- 
try, physics, rhetoric, English literature, the elements of botany 
and chemistry, the science of teaching, civil government and 

""Laws of 1916, S. B. No. 560, Sections 1-6, inclusive, approved April 

3, 1916. 
"'Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4553. 
"Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec 4550. 


Latin, through Caesar and Virgil. The law specifies that "the 
manuscripts of examination shall be kept on file in the office of 
the state superintendent, and the licenses shall be valid for life 
in any part of the state." 129 

The legislature of 1916 passed an act authorizing the state 
board of examiners to issue professional license to granduates of 
certain institutions of higher learning in the state of Mississippi ; 
to provide for the issuance of teachers' licenses to holders of cer- 
tificates in other states and graduates of colleges of other states ; 
and to authorize the extension or renewal of licenses in certain 
cases. 130 Under this law the state board of examiners is auth- 
orized to grant teachers' professional licenses without further 
examination to graduates of the University of Mississippi, the 
Agricultural and Mechanical College, the collegiate and normal 
department of the Industrial Institute and College, 131 and of 
"such other institutions of higher learning in the state as may 
maintain a standard four year college course approved by the 
state board of examiners," provided such graduates have suc- 
cessfully passed nine hours of college work in education 
designated and approved by the state board of ex- 
aminers. 132 The state board of examiners is author- 
ized to issue teachers' license to holders of certificates in 
other states and graduates of colleges in other states, provided 
that "the certificate, license or diploma shall have been origin- 
ally issued " in consideration of qualification at least equal to 

,29 Laws of 1903, Ch. 201, H. B. No. 180, Sec. 1. The 1908 act amended 
section 4555 of the Code of 1906 by adding physics to the subjects 
on which a person must pass a satisfactory examination before 
being awarded professional license. 

130 Laws of 1916, S. B. No. 560, Sections 1-6, inclusive approved April 
3, 1916. 

lsl See Laws of 1312, S. B. No. 420, Ch. 163, Sec. 1, for conditions un- 
der which graduates of the Industrial Institute and College were 
entitled to professional teachers license prior to the law of 1916. 

,32 Laws of 1916, S. B. No. 560, Sec. 1. The state board of examiners is 
authorized to grant state license to students who have finished the 
sophomore year in any college in the state requiring 14 Carnegie 
units for entrance to freshman class, provided such students have 
finished six session hours in education. The license is valid for two 
years and may be renewed as other licenses are ren* JU "~ 4 
Laws of 1918, Ch. 226, p. 286. 



those required for a certificate of the same grade ' ' in the state of 
Mississippi. The time for which such licenses are valid may 
be determined by the state board of examiners. 133 The state 
board of examiners is given authority to " extend or renew con- 
secutively from year to year a period of one year at a time and 
for a total of not more than four consecutive years; any first 
grade license or second grade license; provided, that the holder 
of such certificate shall have attended some institution of higher 
learning, or summer school, for at least six weeks and shall have 
pursued a course of professional study designated and approved 
by the state board of examiners during the next year preceding 
the one for which extension of license for one year is sought to be 
granted/' 134 

All teachers in county agricultural high schools are required 
to pass an examination in the free school studies and in addi- 
tion thereto an examination on the subjects they are required to 
teach in the agricultural high schools. These examinations are 
held at the same time and place and under the same regula- 
tions as required of other applicants to teach in public schools. 135 

Although the county superintendent is charged with the 
duty of fixing the amount of teachers' salaries, except in sepa- 
rate school districts, there is a statutory limit beyond which he 
may not go in determining salaries. For a third grade teacher, 
the salary limit is set between fifteen and twenty dollars ; for a 
second grade teacher, between eighteen and thirty dollars ; for a 
first grade teacher, between twenty-five and seventy-five dollars. 
It is provided, however, that in counties having a surplus in the 
school fund the county superintendent of education may pay 
teachers in schools employing two or more teachers "as much as 
one hundred dollars to the principal and sixty-five dollars to the 
assistant teachers," but such salaries continue only so long as 
the counties may have an unexpended surplus in the school 
fund. 136 In fixing teachers' salaries the county superintendent 

"'Laws of 1916, S. B. No. 560, Sec. 2. 

"♦Ibid.. Sec 3. 

"•Laws of i914, Ch. 185, H. B. No. 153, Sec. 1. 

See Bui. No. 12, State Dept. Ed., July 1919, pp. 38-40. 
'*CaJ<* ""^ n h. 125, Sec. 4556; also, see Laws of 1904, Ch. 166. 


of education is further restricted, as follows: "In fixing the 
salary the superintendent must take into consideration the exe- 
cutive and teaching capacity of the teacher, and the size of the 
school, to be determined both by the educable population of the 
district and the average attendance of the two preceding years. 
The salary of the assistant shall not exceed more than five dol- 
lars the minimum fixed for the grade of license he holds, if the 
teacher be of the second or third grade, but the salary of any 
assistant may be lower than the minimum. In schools requir- 
ing more than one teacher, the salary of the principal shall be 
regulated so that the cost per pupil shall not materially vary 
from the average cost of pupils in schools with single teachers. 
This section shall not be construed to prohibit the employment 
of competent teachers of the several grades for less compensa- 
tion than that mentioned. 137 The salaries of principals and as- 
sistant teachers in separate school districts are fixed by the 
trustees. 13 * County superintendents are required to see that 
monthly salaries of teachers are always proportioned to the whole 
school fund, i. e., the amount paid in salaries for maintaining all 
the schools one month must not exceed that fractional part of 
the whole school fund which one month is of the whole number 
of months the schools are to be taught. 139 The law specifies 
the conditions under which the county superintendent may pro- 
vide for assistant teachers in the county schools. 140 It is un- 
lawful for a teacher with a third grade license to be principal 
of a school which requires an assistant ; and in schools requiring 
more than two assistants, the principal must have a first grade 
license. 141 All teachers are required to make a contract signed 
in duplicate by himself and the county superintendent. 112 

Under the direction of the state board of education, a 
teachers' institute for each race, separately, is held each year in 
the several counties of the state, or in such groups of counties 

13T Code 1906, Ch 125, Sec. 4556; Laws of 1904, Ch. 166. 


,88 Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4557. 

140 Ibid., Sec. 4558. 

M IbU\, Sec. 4559. 

"'Ibid., Sec. 45G0. 



as the state board of education, with the consent of the county 
superintendents, may designate. Under the terms of law each 
teachers' institute must continue in session not less than five 
days. 143 The State Board of Education, with the approval of the 
county superintendents, is charged with the duty of appointing 
' ' persons of recognized ability to conduct and teach 'said insti- 
tutes. 144 The State Board of Education prepares outlines for 
the work and prescribes regulations for the management of the 
institutes. Reports are made to the state board of education by 
the institute conductors. 145 The county superintendents col- 
lect the institute funds from teachers, and a deficit in the in- 
stitute funds not in excess of $55 for one scholastic year, may 
be made up from the common school found of the county, and 
this is done by the state superintendent authorizing the county 
superintendent to issue a pay-certificate on the common school 
fund of the county. 146 

A great tendency toward centralization in the administra- 
tion of public education in Mississippi can be traced to the devel- 
opment of methods of selecting text-books for use in the public 
schools of the state. For many years after the public school 
system was established in the state there was no adoption of a 
uniform series of text-books for use in the schools. The matter was 
left entirely to the various counties and even different localities 
of counties in the state. From the time of the enactment of the 
first important school law in the state, 1846, down to the passage 
of the school law of 1870 the matter of selecting text-books was, 
to all practical purposes, in the hands of the local school authori- 
ties. In the Revised Code of 1871, which substantially reen- 
acted the school law of the preceding year, one of the il powers 
and duties of each board of school directors, ' ' which corre- 
sponds to the present county school boards, was stated as fol- 
lows : ' ' The board of school directors of each school district shall 
prescribe a uniform series of text books, to be used in the schools 

'"Code 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4587. 
"«Ibid., Sec. 4588. 
"•Ibid., Sec. 4589. 
m Ibid., Sec. 4592. 


throughout the district * * * * ,,14T The first strong de- 
mand for a uniform system of text-books for the whole state 
came just prior to the outbreak of the civil war, when there was 
a demand for Southern text-books, due to the fact that the com- 
plaint was frequently made that ' ' with the growth of the aboli- 
tion sentiment in the North, ideas repulsive to the people of the 
South began to find their way into the text-books of the coun- 
try." 148 Nothing, however, was accomplished toward securing 
the adoption of a uniform state system of text-books prior to the 
outbreak of the civil war, nor for some years after the close of 
the war. There was no state uniformity brought about by the 
law of 1870, although requiring county authorities to select 
books was a step toward centralization, in view of the absence 
of even that much uniformity in the earlier years. After 1870 
there were suggestions from time to time indicating a desire for, 
and enumerating the advantages to be derived from having uni- 
form text books for the public schools. Little was done until 
1890, w T hen the legislature passed a statute providing for the 
adoption of uniform text-books by counties. Under this law 
each school board in the state, at their August meeting in the 
year 1890, was required to appoint five teachers of recognized 
ability, one from each supervisor's district, and the county super- 
intendent two from the county at large, to constitute a commit- 
tee for the selection of a uniform series of text-books. The com- 
mittee elected its own president, and the county superintendent 
of education was made ex-officio secretary of the committee. 149 
It was required by law that the committee obtain from leading 
firms of school book publishers sample copies of text-books, and 
price lists for exchange, introduction and permanent supply. 150 
The law specified that on the first Monday in October, 1890, the 
text-book committees should meet at the court house of their 
respective counties and select one text-book for each branch 
enumerated in the curricula of the public schools of the state. 

147 Revised Code of Miss., 1871, Ch. 39 Sec. 2014, paragraph 6. 

ltt F. L. Riley, School History of Miss., pp. 249-250. Reference to Rev. 

C. K. Marshall, of Vicksburg, who led this movement. 
"•Laws of 1890, Ch. 72, Sec. 1. 
«°Ibid., Sec. 2. 


Notice of the selection should be published by the county super- 
intendent four consecutive weeks in a newspaper published or 
circulated in the county. Every fifth year after the year 1890, 
it was the duty of the school board to provide for the adoption 
of a uniform series of text-books, as provided by the law. 151 The 
county superintendent was required to make contracts with the 
publishers of such books adopted by his text-book committee. It 
was the duty of the county superintendent when visiting schools 
to see that only the adopted text-books were being used. 1512 Un- 
der this law, not only was it possible to have as many series of 
text-books as there were counties in the state, but as many as 
there were counties plus separate school districts. For it was 
provided that in towns which were separate school districts (i. e., 
towns of over 1,000 population, by the laws of 1878) it should be 
the duty of trustees to adopt a uniform series of text-books for 
use in the schools of the town, which series when adopted should 
continue in use four years. Authorities were not permitted to 
change the books of more than one branch a year under any 
circumstances. 153 

The amount saved on the price of school books seemed to 
be more the purpose of the law of 1890 than securing uniformity 
of courses of study in the various public schools of the state. 
In his biennial report of 1892 Superintendent J. R. Preston said 
of the law: 154 

"The statute passed in 1890, providing for the adoption of uniform 
text-books by counties, went into effect with very little friction, and it 
is reported by the county superintendents to be an excellent educa- 
tional move. 

"The prominent features of the law is that it places in competition 
the two margins of profits on books. 

"1. It forces publishers to compete with each other by requiring 
them to fix the price at which they will sell their various books to 
retail dealers. > 

"2. It leaves retail dealers, or merchants of any kind, in open 
competition with each other, and by publishing the prices that retailers 
must pay for the books, the people are informed of the cost of each 

"'Laws of 1890, Ch. 72, Sec. 3 
"•Ibid.. Sec. 4. 
"'Ibid., Sec. 5. 

"*Miss Dept. Reports 1890-91, Biennial Report of the State Supt of 
Education for the scholastic years 1889-90 and 1890-91, p. 27. 


book, and may thus determine the per cent, of profit the retailer makes. 

"Under the operation of the law our school books cost at least 

twenty per cent, less than formerly; and we have all the advantages of 

uniform text-books, as viewed from a purely educational standpoint/' 

From 1890 until 1904 but little was accomplished toward 
securing a uniform system of text-books for the whole state. In 
1904 there was passed by the legislature an act to create a text- 
book commission and to procure for use in the public schools of 
the state a uniform system or series of text-books; to define the 
duties and powers of the text-book commission and other offi- 
cers; to provide punishment and penalties for the violation of 
the provisions of the statute. 155 Under this act the governor 
appointed eight educators ' • of known character and ability in 
their profession, and engaged in public school work as teachers, 
not more than one to be selected from each congressional dis- 
trict," who with the state superintendent of education should 
constitute the text-book commission of Mississippi. 156 The act 
provided that the books adopted as a uniform series should be 
introduced and used as text-books "to the exclusion of all oth- 
ers in the public schools of this state. 157 The books thus adopted 
were introduced at the beginning of the session of 1905-1906. 
The act of 1904 did not prevent the use of supplementary books, 
but it was specified that "such supplementary books shall not be 
used to the exclusion of the books adopted under the provision 
of this act." It did not prevent the teaching in any of the 
public schools of the state any branch higher or more advanced 
than the branches embraced in the provisions of the act, 158 and 
in using such courses any text-books, provided that no higher 
branch should be taught to the exclusion of the branches men- 
tioned in the law. 159 The act made it mandatory for all teachers 
to use the adopted text-books in all public schools of the 
state; for it was provided "That any teacher who shall use or 
permit to be used in his or her school any text-book upon the 

""Laws of 1904, Ch. 86, S. B. No. 31, Sections 1-23, inclusive, approved 

March 19, 1904. 
"•Laws of 1904, Ch. 86, S. B. No. 31. Sec. 1. 
187 Ibid., Sec 11. 
"•Ibid., Sec' 1. 
lw Ibid., Sec. 11. 


branches embraced in this act or other than the ones adopted by 
said text-book commission upon said branch as hereinbefore pro- 
vided, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, 
shall be punished as provided for in section 12 of this act." 160 
By section 12 of the act the punishment for the violation of the 
act was by a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than fifty 

The State Text-book Commission during the fifteen years 
of its existence has accomplished great good in bringing about 
uniformity of courses and of purpose in the public schools of 
the state. The patrons of the schools have been saved an appre- 
ciable amount in the price of school books, and in the additional 
expense incurred by those people who moved from one section 
of the state to another when local authorities selected the school 
books in each county. The law of 1904, as amended, stands at 
the present time. In 1912 the legislature passed an act making 
it unlawful for the text-book commission to change more than 
twenty-five per cent of the books in use at any regular state 
adoption. 161 The legislature of 1916 passed an act 162 to pro- 
vide for the adoption and purchase of school text-books for agri- 
cultural high schools, separate school districts, county public 
schools, not otherwise provided by law ; to require all publishers 
to file sample of all books to be sold with the state superintendent 
of education ; to require all publishers to sell school text-books to 
public authorities at not more than 75 per cent of the price 
list; and to require publishers to give bond to the state, and to 
provide punishment and penalties for the violation of the act. 
The part of this law dealing with the requirements of publishers 
who sell books in the state was designed to meet practical situa- 
tions which had arisen prior to the passage of the regular stat- 
ute. Three provisions of the 1916 law should be noted. First, 
the law provided that each county school board and the board 
of trustees of each separate school district in the state should 
hold a regular annual meeting, " until a complete list of school 

"•Ibid., Sec. 13. 

/"Laws of 1912, Ch. 168, H. B. No. 124, Sec. 1. 

"Laws of 1916, Ch. 179 S B. No. 356, Sections 1-18, inclusive, ap- 
proved April 6, 1916. ' 


text-books is adopted covering the whole course of study, not 
otherwise provided by law," to determine which of the books 
(filed by publishers as provided by law) should be used in the 
schools under its control, "it being distinctly understood that 
such list of books selected by the county school boards shall 
apply to all public high schools in the county except separate 
school districts and agricultural high schools ; provided, that the 
county school board shall make selection of books from a list 
recommended by a committee of five high school teachers ap- 
pointed by the county superintendent of education." 163 Under 
this statute, as under the law providing for the selection of 
text-books in the common branches for the grades below the high 
school, the text-books selected must be used for a period of five 
years after the date of the selection and adoption. 104 Secondly, 
the law provided for the way in which text-books for agricul- 
tural high schools should be selected. It was made the duty of 
the state superintendent of education to appoint four agricul- 
tural high school principals or teachers, who, with himself, 
should constitute a committee to select a uniform course of study 
for the agricultural high schools of the state. It is made obliga- 
tory upon the agricultural high schools to use the text-books 
selected by this committee. The law prescribed that the price 
and manner of handling and adopting books for separate school 
districts and other high schools should apply to agricultural high 
schools also, except books on agriculture and other industrial sub- 
jects. Thirdly, the law makes specific regulations governing the 
conditions under which publishers of text-books are permitted 
to sell books for use in the public schools of the state, 165 as well 
as regulates the methods to be followed by retail dealers in pub- 
lic school books. 166 Although the policy of furnishing free text- 
books has not been adopted as a state plan in Mississippi, by 
the law of 1916 it is provided that the school board of any coun- 
ty or separate school district in the state may furnish free text- 
books to the pupils in the schools under its control, or may buy 

m Laws of 1916, Ch. 179, S. B. 356, Sec. 7. 

,M Ibid. 

lfl8 Laws of 1916, Ch. 179, S. B. No. 356, Sees. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 14, 15. 

"•Ibid., Sec. 11. 


books and rent them to pupils in the schools under it control. 167 
Along with the school, the college, and the university, the 
public library is one of the means of promoting the 
general diffusion of knowledge and learning. The pub- 
lic library is an essential part of any well-ordered 
system of public education. Though the development 
of public libraries in the state of Mississippi has not 
kept pace with the development of public schools the public 
library move began simultaneously with the beginning of state- 
hood; for the state legislature by a joint resolution in 1817 auth- 
orized the secretary of state to purchase for the State such books 
as the secretary of the Territory was required to purchase. 168 
The State Library was established by an act of the legislature 
February 15 1838, and a librarian, who was also in the early 
period of the office custodian of the capitol, was appointed. The 
library was at first under the management of trustees, and a 
library committee of the legislature was called upon at times to 
pass on the purchase of books. "In 1891 the State Library,'' 
says Dr. Rowland ' ' was, according to the New York World, ' the 
second in value of its kind in the Union, the Massachusetts libra- 
ry only outranking it,' having reference to its superiority as a 
law reference library. ' ,169 The State library now contains over 
90,000 volumes, including law reports and public documents. 
Section 106 of the Constitution of 1890 provides that "There 
snail be a state librarian chosen by the legislature, on joint vote 
of the two houses, to serve four years, whose duties and compen- 
sation shall be prescribed by law. Any woman, a resident of the 
state four years, and who has attained the age of twenty years 
shall be eligible to said office." The duties of the state librarian 
are prescribed by law. 170 The governor, judges of the supreme 
court, and attorney-general constitute the trustees for the state 
library. 171 The state librarian, with the approval of the gov- 

"Ibid., Sec. 7. 

'"Rowland, Ency. Miss. History, Vol. II p. 104. 

"•Ibid., p. 105. 

"•See Code 1906, Ch. 130, Sections 4717-4736, inclusive. 

,n Ibid., Sec. 4723. 


ernor, appoints the assistant librarian. 172 The Jefferson Mili- 
tary College Library was established in 1820, and the Univer- 
sity of Mississippi Library in 1849, but according to a recent 
library survey, 173 "with one or two exceptions, public libraries 
have had their beginning in Mississippi since 1900." In 1916 
the twenty public libraries in the State contained 62,491 volumes 
and 2,170 pamphlets. 174 Twelve towns in the state have received 
library grants from the Carnegie Corporation, by meeting the 
requirements of the corporation that in order to secure the do- 
nation a municipality or county must furnish the building site 
and an annual support equal to ten per cent, of the original 
gift for the building. 175 Of the College and Preparatory School 
libraries in the state there are 218,072 volumes and 17,863 
phamphlets in the twenty-five institutions for whites and the 
five negro institutions, as reported in the 1916 survey. 170 The 
report showed in the forty-one county agricultural high school 
libraries were 5541 volumes and 1280 pamphlets; in the 126 
High Schools other than county agricultural high schools, 58,427 
volumes and 904 pamphlets; in the separate districts not carry- 
ing high school instruction, fourteen schools reported 936 vol- 
umes and 100 pamphlets ; in 79 counties the 1171 common school 
libraries, as reported by county superintendents of education, 
contained 46,646 volumes accounted for, but this number of vol- 
umes was for 54 counties, 25 of the counties having failed to 
report the number of volumes. It is interesting to note in 
connection with these common county school libraries, as 
small and inadequate as they are, that of the 1171 reported only 
412 received county aid. 177 

The state legislature has not seen fit to enact laws for 
establishing public libraries in the various counties of the state, 

m Ibid., Sec. 4726; also, Laws of 1918, Ch. 145, S. B. No. 28, Sec. 1. 

'"Bulletin of the Miss. Agricultural & Mechanical College, The Libra- 
ry Situation in Miss., by Whitman Davis, 1916, p. 37. 

"'Nineteen of these libraries for whites; one, Meridian Public Libra- 
ry No. 2 for negroes. See Bulletin, 1916, Whitman Davis, p. 7. 

"'See p. 7, Bulletin Miss. A. & M. College, 1916, Davis, for a list of 
these towns. 

"•Ibid , p. 12. 

'"Bulletin, Miss. A. &. M. College, 1916, Davis, p. 37. 


as has been advocated by many leading educators in the state. 
The law at present merely provides that when any public school 
in the state raises ten dollars by subscription and otherwise for 
a school library, "and furnishes a suitable bookcase with lock 
and key," the county superintendent of education may issue 
his certificate for ten dollars in favor of the school,, to be paid 
out of the common school fund of the county. The law says 
furthermore, " In no case shall the amount given by the county in 
any year exceed one hundred dollars; provided, that no school 
shall receive the school donation from the school fund for library 
purposes so long as there are any new applications from schools 
that have not been supplied/' 178 The law makes it the duty of 
the county superintendent of education to name two first grade 
teachers, who, together with himself consitutes the county libra- 
ry commission. It is the duty of the county library commission 
to name a list of books suited for school libraries, and all books 
purchased under the statute giving county aid to school libra- 
ries must be selected from the list made by the county library 
commission. Each county library commission makes rules and 
regulations to govern the use of school libraries of the county, 
and names a local manager for each library, who is required to 
make a report every year to the county commission of all books 
purchased during the year, of the money on hand at the time of 
the report, and of the amount expended for library purposes. 
The county superintendent keeps a list of books purchased by 
the several libraries of his county and makes a library report to 
the state superintendent of education biennially with the county 
school report. 179 

An interesting feature of public library work in the state 
is carried on by the Service Bureau of the Mississippi Agricul- 
tural and Mechanical College. The Package Library Depart- 
ment of the Service Bureau is organized for the purpose of col- 
lecting package libraries of material on important questions and 
loaning them to people in all parts of the state. As stated by 
the Service Bureau, on account of the scarcity of public libra- 

"•Code of 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4629. 
,n Ibid.. Sec. 4630. 


ries throughout the state, it has heretofore been very difficult for 
debating societies, clubs, teachers, and other organizations and 
individuals to obtain material for the study and discussion of 
topics of current interest. The package libraries are loaned to 
any citizen of the state, the only cost being the payment of post- 
age back to the Service Bureau. 180 

With practically no system in the control of school libraries, 
great waste and indifference is but the natural result. In of- 
fering for the consideration of the state legislature a County 
Free Library Law, Whitman Davis says : 181 

"The county free library law would seem to provide the most feasi- 
ble library system for Mississippi. With the county as the unit, the 
Legislature would not be called upon to make any appropriations other 
than the small amount to pay the necessary traveling expenses of the 
state librarian and the State Board of Library Examiners. Whenever 
any county should decide that it needed and wanted library facilities for 
its people, under the county free library law it could establish a county 
library at the county seat, which would, through branch libraries and 
oeposit stations, furnish books to all the people in the county. The 
school buildings could be made deposit stations for the schools and the 
books changed as often as desired. The county library could take over 
the school libraries and, in return, could give every small school the 
advantage of a large library." 

With the endorsement of the State Library Association and 
the State Teachers' Association, the draft of a county free 
library law, very much the same as the one in operation in Cali- 
fornia except for changes made to suit conditions in Mississippi, 
was presented to the legislature of 1916. The legislature of 1916 
did not enact the law, and a similar bill failed of passage in the 
legislature of 1918. Under the proposed law the board of super- 
visors of the several counties would have power to establish and 
maintain within their respective counties county free libraries, 
provided the consent of the electors of the county be given; 
there would be a county library board consisting of five mem- 
bers appointed by the board of supervisors; and the county 
library board would name a county librarian. There would be 
a State Board of Library Examiners, with the State Librarian 
ex-officio chairman. The State Librarian would have general 

"•Bulletin Miss. A. & M. Coll., Package Libraries, Sept 1918. p. 1. 
m Bulletin Miss A. &. M. Coll., 1916, p. 39. 




supervision of all county free libraries. The law would provide 
an extra levy on certain property of the county. 182 

In any system of universal education provision must be made 
for the instruction of the youth, who, for one reason or another, 
do not participate in the advantages offered in the ordinary pub- 
lic schools. With comparatively few Indians now left in the 
State of Mississippi it is scarcely necessary to provide special 
schools for Indian children. 183 The law provides, however, that 
in a county where there are Indian children sufficient to form 
a school, the county school board may locate one or more schools 
exclusively for Indians The state board of education is author- 
ized to provide special license for teachers in Indian schools that 
may be provided under the statute. 184 The deaf, dumb and blind 
constitute a special class for which provision must be made in a 
program of public education. The constitution of Mississip- 
pi 185 makes it the duty of the legislature to provide by law for 
the support of institutions for the education of this class of 
people. The constitutional mandate has been met by the leg- 
islature in providing for the instruction of the deaf and dumb 
and of the blind. The Mississippi Institution for the education 
of the Deaf and Dumb meets the demands of the former class ; 
the state Institution for the Instruction of the Blind, the latter. . 
The institution for the instruction of the deaf and dumb is lo- 
cated in the city of Jackson, and is supported by the state. The 
institution is open to the deaf-mutes of the state who are desirous 
of receiving an education; provided "they are of good moral 
character, of sound mind and free from contagious and infec- 
tious diseases." Parents are urged to enter their children by 
the time they are eight years old. Boarding, tuition, books and 
medical attention are furnished by the state. To the very poor, 
clothing and transportation are supplied free, but in order to 
secure this b enefit the superintendent must have a certificate, 

lw For a draft of the proposed law, See pp. 40-45, Bulletin, Miss. A. & 

M. Coll., 1916, Davis. 
'"There is an Indian school at Union, Miss.; See Laws of 1918, Ch. 

193, pp. 87-88, H. B. No. 180, appropriating $500 for support and 

maintenance of this school. 
"•Code of 1906, Ch. 125, Sec. 4562. 
"Constitution of 1890, Sec. 209. 


signed by some proper officer or some other evidence, of the pu- 
pil's indigency. 186 The institute for the education of the deaf 
and dumb is administered by a Board of Trustees and a Super- 
intendent, which officers are appointed by the governor, with 
the governor as ex-officio president of the board. Provision is 
made, in separate departments, for the members of both races. 
The institution for the instruction of the blind is also adminis- 
tered by a Board of Trustees and a Superintendent, appointed 
by the governor who is ex-officio president of the board. The 
institution is state supported, and is open to the blind youth of 
the state. 

By an act of the legislature of April 5, 1916 there was es- 
tablished the Mississippi Industrial and Training School, a 
school for delinquent and pauper children of the state less than 
eighteen years old. 187 By the terms of the act establishing the 
institution the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars was appro- 
priated to be used for the purpose of erecting buildings, buying 
land, and equipping the school. 188 Provision was made for a 
board of trustees to govern the institution. 189 The 1918 legis- 
lature appropriated for the ' ' support, maintenance, repairs and 
permanent improvement" of the school for the years 1918 and 
1919 a total of $147,387.00. 190 

There has been a decided tendency toward centralization of 
administration in the financing of public education in Missis- 
sippi. The chief sources of revenue for educational purposes 
in the United States are from (1) invested funds, (2) state taxa- 
tion, and (3) local taxation. "Besides several minor sources, 
the public schools of the various states," say Professors Dutton 
and Snedden, 191 "derive their chief revenue from three direc- 

""Fourteenth Biennial Report^ Board of Trustees and Superintend- 
ent of the Miss. Institution for the education of the Deaf and Dumb, 
1890-1891, p. 27. 

187 The boys and girls enter the school (1) as a result of court deci- 
sions, (2) orphans, with no means of support, (3) children of in- 
digent parents. 

""Laws 1916, Ch. 50, p 50, Sec. 1, S. B. No. 577; Ch. Ill, H. B. No. 89, 
pp. 149-157. 

""Ibid Sec. 2. 

""Law's 1918, Ch. 33, pp. 40-42, Sec. 1, H. B. No. 29. 

Administration of Public Education in the U. S., 1913, p. 147. 


tions: income on permanent funds, largely created by lands 
donated to the states by the national government; state taxa- 
tion; and taxation in local areas under authorization of state 
law." The chief sources of school revenue in Mississippi are 
(1) invested funds, (2) state taxation, (3) local taxation, and 
(4) federal funds. The financing of public education is given 
a prominent place in the Mississippi constitution of 1890. First, 
provision is made for a common school fund which consists of 
the poll tax 102 (to be retained in the counties where the same is 
collected) and an additional sum from the general fund in the 
state treasury which together must be sufficient to maintain the 
common schools for the term of four months in each scholastic 
year. It is provided by the same section of the constitution 
that any county or separate school district may levy an addi- 
tional tax to maintain its schools for a longer time than the term 
of four months; and it is provided that the common school fund 
must be distributed among the several counties and separate 
school districts, in proportion to the number of educable chil- 
dren in each, to be determined from the data collected through 
the office of the state superintendent of education, in the man- 
ner prescribed by law. 193 Secondly, the Constitution of 1890 
makes it obligatory upon the state legislature to enact such laws 
as may be necessary to ascertain the true condition of the title 
to the sixteenth sections of land in the state, and to enact laws 
regulating the sale or lease of such land. 194 A third constitu- 
tional provision declares that "the rate of interest on the fund 
known as the Chickasaw school fund, and other trust funds for 
educational purposes, for which the state is responsible, shall be 
fixed and remain as long as said funds are held by the state at 
six per centum per annum, from and after the close of the fiscal 
year A. D. 1891, and the distribution of said interest shall be 

"The collection of the $2 poll tax is made surer by a statute which 
limits the right of franchise to such as have paid their poll tax 
for two years; See infra., p. 119. 

"•Constitution of 1890, Sec. 206. 

^Constitution of 1890, Sec. 211. 


made semi-annually on the first of May and November of each 
year/' 195 

It is not the purpose here to trace through all the statutes 
the subject of the financing of public education in the state. 196 
It will be sufficient to deal with the subject of school finances 
as handled by the state at present The history of the, income 
from the first source named, i. e., invested funds, in Mississippi 
reveals more what "might have been done" than what has been 
done; for the income from lands set aside for school purposes, 
with notable exceptions in the case of a few communities, was 
by mismanagement brought to almost an irreducible minimum. 
A study of the early administration of the Sixteenth Sections,™ 7 
the Chickasaw fund, 198 the Two Per Cent fund, 199 and the 
Three Per Cent fund 200 reveals in many instances varying de- 
grees of mismanagement, incompetency, and fraud. The total 
amount of income which the schools of many sections of the 
state have received from this source represents a mere fraction 
of what might easily have been constituted a permanent source 
of revenue for the purposes of public education. The total in- 
come from the Chickasaw School Fund since 1912 has been as 
follows: annually for 1912 and 1913 201 $62,049.79; annually for 
1914 and 1915, $62,085.84 ; 202 annually for 1916, 1917, 1918 and 
1919, $62,138.49. 203 The total annual income from the Six- 
teenth Section Fund varies from year to year, and from county 
>to county ; the annual total from this source is larger by far than 
from any other invested funds in the state ; in 1914-1915 for the 
counties receiving revenue from this source the amount varied 
from $31,165.48 in Washington county 204 to $72.13 in Lincoln 

w Ibid., Sec. 212. 
'"•See Miss. Educational Advance, Vol. 10, No. 1, Sept. 1919, pp. 6-8, 

article by J. T. Calhoun, State Supt. Rural Education. 
m Ency. Miss. History, Vol. 11, pp. 669-673. 
m Ency. Miss. History, Vol. 1, pp. 408-410. 
lw Ency. Miss. History, Vol. II, pp. 832-834. 
""Ency. Miss. History, Vol. II, pp. 783-784. 
'"Laws of 1912, p. 4 
"Laws of 1914, p. 4. 

»»Laws of 1916, p. 5, and Laws of 1918, p. 5. 
""State Supt. Education, 1914-1915 Report p. 232. 

•"Ibid., p. 232. 

"•Dutton and Snedden, Adm. of Pub. Education in the U. S., p. 148. 


B0 State Supt. Education, 1913-1915 Report, p. 214. 

a, Ibid., p. 228. 

w Dutton and Snedden, Adm. Pub. Education in U. S., p. 148 

"Const 1890, Sec. 206. 

■"Ibid. ' 




county. 205 According to the State Superintendent's report for 
1914-1915 in the counties where there was an income from the 
Two and Three Per Cent funds the amount received from these 
sources varied from $101.83 in Tishomingo county 206 to $4,979.00 
in Covington county. 207 

State taxation for the support of schools in Mississippi, as 
in most other Southern states, 208 constitutes the mainstay of the 
educational system of the state. It is a well known fact that 
"whereas state taxation has the advantage over local taxation 
of relieving the schools from the fluctuations of local support, it 
may or may not equalize educational opportunity, according to 
the manner of its distribution within the state," to quote Dut- 
ton and Snedden. 209 For 1914-1915 the amount of the state 
distribution to the various counties of Mississippi ranged from 
$3,679.50 for Green county 210 to $48,459.00 for Yazoo county. 211 

Local taxation, which in many states is the chief source of 
revenue for the educational system, 212 constitutes less than fifty 
per cent of school finances in Mississippi. This, nevertheless, is 
one of the sources of school revenue in the state. When the 
constitution of 1890 provided for the state common school fund, 
provision was made in the same section 213 for a county school 
fund to consist of the poll-tax which is retained in the counties 
where it is collected ; and this amount is augmented by an amount 
from the state common school fund sufficient to maintain the 
common schools four months ; but any county or separate school 
district may levy an additional tax to maintain its schools for a 
longer time than the term of four months. 214 Of the taxation in 
local areas under authorization of state law in Mississippi, the 

-Ibid., p. 219. 

-County Treasurer's Financial Report, p. 243; St. Dept. Ed., Report, 



poll-tax is an important feature. The constitution of 1890 au- 
thorizes the poll-tax, as follows: 215 

A uniform poll tax of two dollars, to be used in aid of the common 
schools, and for no other purpose, is hereby imposed on every male in- 
habitant of this state between the ages of twenty-one and sixty years, 
except persons who are deaf and dumb or blind, or who are maimed 
by loss of hand or foot; said tax to be a lien only upon taxable prop- 
erty. The board of supervisors of any county may, for the. purpose of 
aiding the common schools of that county ^ increase the poll tax in said 
county, but in no case shall the entire poll-tax exceed in any one year 
three dollars on each poll. No criminal proceedings shall be allowed 
to enforce the collection of the poll tax. 

The collection of the poll tax is made surer by a statute 
which limits the right of franchise to such as have paid their poll 
tax for two years; for says the law "a person shall not be en- 
titled to vote at any election who has not been duly registered 
four months before offering to vote, and who has not paid all 
taxes which have been legally required of him, and which he has 
had an opportunity of paying according to law, for the two pre- 
ceding years, on or before the first day of February of the year 
in which he offers to vote." 216 To illustrate how the amount 
collected as poll tax varies from county to county, in 1914-1915 
in Issaquena county the total receipts from poll tax amounted to 
only $973. 01 217 while in Bolivar county the total from this source 
was $10,643. 89. 21S Counties may levy, in addition to the one 
dollar extra poll tax, an ad valorem tax to carry on the schools 
before and after the four months term as provided under the 
law regulating the distribution of the state school fund. 220 Coun- 
ty boards of supervisors are authorized to levy special taxes for 
school purposes in certain specified cases. 221 Separate school 
districts may levy an additional tax for the support of schools, 222 
and "any municipality not composing a separate school district 

2u Const 1890 Sec 243. 

"•Miss. Code of 1906, Sec. 4118; See Laws of 1894, Ch. 51. 

aT State Supt. Education, 1913-1915 Report, p. 215. 

a " Ibid., p. 210. 

"•Const, of 1890, Sec. 243. 

^Miss. Code of 1906, Sec. 4572. 

'"See, Laws of 1912, Ch. 159, S. B No. 79; Laws of 1914, Ch. 197, 
H. B. No. 92. Laws of 1910, Ch."220, S. B. No. 103; Laws of 1914, 
Ch. 157, S. B. No. 385; Laws of 1914 Ch. 190, S. B. No 50, and Ch. 
142, S. B. No. 287; Laws of 1914, Ch. 189, H. B. No. 255. 

la Code of 1906, Sec. 4530. 



may levy an annual tax to aid in the education of the children 
within such municipality." 223 The law also provides condi- 
tions under which rural school districts 224 and consolidated 
school districts 225 may levy additional taxes for school purposes. 
Methods of financing county agricultural high schools are pre- 
scribed by law. The law permits extra tax levies by counties 
and towns for the establishment of and maintenance of this spe- 
cial type of schools. 228 

Under the Smith-Hughes act of Congress 227 fifteen county 
agricultural high schools in Mississippi have qulified for fed- 
eral aid for carrying on vocational education in connection with 
their elected curricula. A sum aggregating $5,566.19 was ap- 
portioned in 1918 to meet this object, w T hich sum was used to 
supplement funds received from the state and counties for the 
support, maintenance, and equipment of the county agricultural 
high schools. In addition to the agricultural high schols, con- 
solidated school districts in over a dozen counties during the 
year 1918 qualified for federal aid in carrying on courses in 
vocational education, the amount received by these districts 
varying from $72.21 for a Warren county district to $281.42 for 
Salem district in Covington county. 228 The total income for 
school purposes in the various localities of the state is some- 
times slightly augmented by revenues from special courses such 
as tuition for certain, high school subjects, 229 rents (other than 
sixteenth section rents), institutes, and the like; but compara- 
tively little is received from other sources than those which have 
been discussed. 

As has often been stated by writers on the administration" of 


"Laws of 1908, Ch. 127, S. B. No. 202. 

m Laws of 1916, H. B. No. 542. 

m Laws of 1914, Ch. 184, as amended by Laws of 1916, H. B. No. 169. 

"■For regulations, See Laws of 1910, Ch. 122, S. B. No 4; Laws of 

1914, Ch. 191, S. B. No. 479, as amended by Laws of 1916 H. B. No. 

84. Laws of 1910, Ch. 126, S. B. No. 64. Laws of 1912, Ch. 150, 

H B. No. 82. 
■"Approved February 23, 1917. 
**F. J. Hubbard, State Director Smith-Hughes Vocational Education, 

Memphis Commercial Appeal, Dec. 19, 1918. See Laws of 1918, 

Ch. 66, pp. 66-67, S. B. No. 4. 
**Miss. Code of 1906, Sec. 4561; Laws of 1900, Ch. 112. 


public education, the two fundamental principles or purposes 
governing the distribution of school funds, are first, equalization 
of educational opportunities, and secondly, stimulation of local 
educational sentiment. According to the well known authorities, 
Professors Button and Snedden, in the United States there are 
three principle ways of distributing the general (county or state) 
school fund, first, the method found in counties where educa- 
tional administration is highly centralized, and where the gov- 
erning board is authorized to distribute county moneys to the 
districts, according to the option of such boards; second, the 
method — characterizing primitive educational conditions — 
where the state or the county returns to the school area exactly 
its share of taxes relative to its taxable valuation; third, the 
very common method of taking as the basis of educational need 
either total population or school population, the latter meaning 
the number of children supposedly in need of schooling. 230 The 
latter method is the one used in distributing the common school 
fund in Mississippi. The law regulating the distribution of the 
school fund in counties is as follows : 231 

"The county common school fund shall be divided between the 
separate school districts and that portion of a county not included in 
separate school districts. Within thirty days after every legal enroll- 
ment of the educable children of the state, and within thirty days after 
the organization of a separate school district, or a change has been 
made in the limits of one already organized in the county, the county 
superintendent of education shall certify to the clerk of the board 
of supervisors the number of educable children, to be determined from 
the official roll of educable children, on file in the chancery clerk's 
office in each separate school district in the county, and the number of 
educable children outside the limits of separate school districts. At 
each regular meeting of the board of supervisors to apportion the 
amount of undivided county common school fund in the county treasury 
among the separate school districts of '/the county and the county out- 
side of separate school districts^ or m basis of the number of the educa- 
ble. children in each, as furhi#&^t)y the county superintendent of edu- 
cation, and to certify the said apportionment to the board of supr- 
visors, who, if the apportionment is found to be correct, shall order 
that a warrant be issued in favor of the treasurer of each separate 
school dis trict for the amount due each district. At the first meeting 

""For an interesting discussion of these three methods of distribut- 
ing the school fund, See Dutton and Snedden, Administration of 

. Public Education in the United States, 1913, pp. 156-159. 

^Miss Code of 1906, Sec. 4754; Laws of 1906, Ch. 118, pp. 105-106, S. 
B. No. 185. 


of the board of supervisors after the passage of this act, all the poll 
tax collected since the last official report of the same to the auditor, 
shall be divided as provided in this section." 

Since 1912 the appropriations by the state legislature for 
the maintenance of the public schools of the state have been as 
follows: for each of the years 1912 and 1913, $1,424, 088.00, 232 
and for that biennium a supplemental common school fund of 
$5,000 ; 233 for each of the years 1914 and 1915, $1,659,051.00 ; 234 
for the years 1916 and 1917, respectively, $1,732,786.60 235 and 
$1,867,771.00, 236 with the proviso concerning the amount for 
1917 "or such amount thereof as may be necessary to keep the 
per capita tax distribution at $2.45 under the enumeration of 
educable children in 1916 ;" for each of the years 1918 and 1919, 
$1,985,895.00. 237 The total number of educable children in the 
state, according to the last enumeration, is 791,585 within the 
age, as ordained by statute, from five to twenty-one years, and 
each county and separate district receives its quota from the 
general fund, based on a per capita allowance of $2.51 — 
the actual figure being one mill under that amount according to 
the January 1919 distribution. 238 

It is questionable whether in distributing the state and the 
county school funds it would not be wise to adopt a system of 
apportionment based on average daily attendance. There is un- 
doubtedly the advantage to this system that, to a considerable 
extent, it places a premium on local efforts to get the children 
into school and to keep them there. Educationally considered, 
the matter of prime importance is not how many children are en- 
rolled ; but it is of great importance to have the largest possible 
number of days' attendance. Anything which tends to bring 
that total up should receive consideration at the hands of those 
who are responsible for the state school system. 

The large problems of educational finance in Mississippi at 

^Laws of 1912, Ch. 4, p. 6, H. B. No. 6. 

"'Laws of 1912, Ch. 5, pp. 6-7, H. B. No. 687. 

m Laws of 1914, Ch. 4, p. 7, H. B. No. 108. 

"'Laws of 1916, Ch. 4, pp. 7-8, H. B. No. 597 

^Laws of 1916, Ch. 5, p. 8, H. B. No. 631. 

•"Laws of 1918, Ch. 54, p. 58, H. B. No. 22. 

""State Dept # Education, report in Commercial Appeal, Jan. 11, 1919. 


present are those common to every state in the Union — those, 
chiefly, resulting from the ever increasing cost of maintaining 
and improving the system of public education. As formulated 
by two leading authorities on the subject of public education in 
the United States, 239 these problems are: (1) possible sources 
of increased revenue, as education becomes more expensive; 
(2) the relative proportion and kinds of school revenue which 
various taxing units should produce; and (3) the distribution 
of state revenue to counties, and the distribution of county 
funds to lesser units. 

The subject of compulsory education has not been ad- 
vanced very vigorously in Mississippi during recent years. In 
1874, 1875, and 1876 Governor Adelbert Ames recommended 
legislation to bring about a ' ' compulsory system of free common 
school education/' 240 The economic problems of the state and 
their relation to the problems of the education of the negro 
have had some influence in this matter; but this has not been 
wholly responsible for the lack of interest in the subject in 
Mississippi. It has been felt that before advocating compulsory 
education the system as at present organized should be strength- 
ened materially, especially as to the length of the school year. 
To place upon the local communities the responsibility of add- 
ing to the school term is well enough in that it places a premium 
upon local pride in maintaining excellence of educational facili- 
ties ; but to permit any community to have the minimum of four 
months' school term is an extremely short-sighted policy for the 
state to adopt. Thus the matter of. providing better school facili- 
ties for those who want the advantages of free school educa- 
tion has been paramount in the minds of educational leaders and 
others interested in the advancement of the state. But compul- 
sory education has been suggested from time to time as a method 
of materially improving the school system, and the legislature of 
1918 went so far as to enact a compulsory school law, which, 
however, was effectively nullified by the terms of the act it- 

'"Dutton and Sneddon, The Administration of Public Education in 

the United States, 1913, pp. 165-166. 
*°Senate Journal, 1874, p. 26; ibid., 1875, p. 8; ibid., 1876, pp. 14-15. 


self. 241 The period of compulsory attendance was made but sixty 
days for each scholastic year, and one-third of that time was op- 
tional with the county school board for the county schools and 
the board of trustees for the separate district schools, for it was 
provided that by action of these school authorities the period of 
compulsory attendance for any school could be reduced to forty 
days. 1 * 2 But this feature of the act is not the one which com- 
pletely nullifies the spirit of the compulsory school attendance 
law ; it is that part of the statute which declares that ' ' the pro- 
visions of this act shall not be applicable to any county in the 
htate, unless and until an election shall have been held to de- 
termine whether or not the people of said county, or of any 
supervisors district, separate school district or consolidated 
school district shall vote to come in under same. 243 Twenty per 
cent of the qualified electors of any county, supervisors district, 
separate school district, or consolidated school district may by 
petition have an election called to determine the will of the peo- 
ple in the matter of compulsory school attendance. 244 When 
adopted by election the compulsory school attendance law for the 
county or district so electing must not be changed by subse- 
quent election within four scholastic years. 245 The county su- 
perintendent of education is charged with the duty of enforcing 
the compulsory school attendance law in whatever school areas 
that elect to come under the provisions of the statute. 246 The 
counties and school districts of the state have been slow to ex- 
press a desire or willingness to adopt the provisions of the com- 
pulsory school attendance act. An exception to this general 
rule is found in Union County which adopted this educational 
feature at an election in November 1918, and it is reported from 
that county that "cooperation of teachers and patrons is bring- 

rti Laws 1918, Ch. 258, pp. 312-315, H. B. No. 143. See Miss. Educa- 
tional Advance, Vol. 10, No. 11, June 1919, pp 12-13, and Pro- 
ceedings Miss. State Teachers Association, 1919, pp. 47-48 for draft 
of proposed compulsory school attendance lav/. 

■"Laws of 1918, Ch. 258, pp. 312-315, H. B. No. 143, Sec. 1. 

""Ibid., Sec. 9 (a). 

"•Ibid., Sec. 9 (b) 

•"Ibid, Sec. 9 (c).' 

**Ibid., Sec. 5 and 6. 


ing about the happy enforcement of the law, much to the grati- 
fication of citizens interested in higher educational development 
of the children of the county." 247 

The State Teachers ' Association first met in the hall of rep- 
resentatives at Jackson in 1838, but owing to the great difficulty 
of travel in those days the organization dissolved after four or 
five years. 248 After 1865 the State Teachers' Association was 
revived and since that time has wielded a great influence in the 
development of the educational system of the state. The associa- 
tion has stood for better trained teachers, and it was largely 
through the influence of this organization that the State Normal 
College was establshed in 19 10. 249 The teachers of the state 
working through their state association have been a factor in 
bringing about the passage of progressive school laws; 250 in se- 
curing the adoption of unified courses of study in the schools 
of the state ; in urging the extension of school terms by local tax 
levies; and in developing public sentiment in favor of a better 
school system for the entire state. The State Teachers' Associa- 
tion at present (in 1919) is doing splendid work in advocating 
better pay for the teachers of the state. 

III. Higher Education 

"The greatest obstacle to the early progress of higher edu- 
cation in Mississippi, was the attachment shown by the people 
to the older institutions of other States. The planters of Mis- 
sissippi naturally wished to send their sons to the colleges where 
they themselves had been educated. As a consequence no col- 
lege degree was conferred upon a son of Mississippi by an institu- 
tion in the State before 1833. As there were no time-honored 
female colleges in the older states, and as traveling was very dif- 
ficult, the people of Mississippi were liberal in their support of 
schools for the higher education of young women.'' 1 In his 

^Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal, article of Jan. 4, 1919. 

^Ency. Miss. History, Rowland, Vol. II, pp. 765-766. 

* 8 Infra., p. 142. 

M0 See Proceeding Miss. Teachers' Assoc, 1919, pp. 61-62, Report of 

Committe on Minimum Essentials of School Legislation. 
*P. L. Riley, School History of Miss., p. 173. 


chapter on "The early social and political history of Missis- 
sippi" Judge Mayes speaks of the conditions under which the 
state was occupied by the English-speaking people. In part he 
says : ' ' The lands were fertile, and were granted in large tracts 
on very easy terms. The immigrants were people of means and 
culture. They came from comparatively old and absolutely re- 
fined civilization, where, amongst other institutions, educational 
establishments of a high order flourished. Many of these im- 
migrants were from the New England States; many from the 
Middle States, and nearly all the remainder from Virginia, 
Maryland, Kentucky, Georgia, and the Carolinas. They brought 
with them full knowledge of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Univer- 
sity of Virginia, Transylvania, * * * * and long pre- 
served pleasant and loving memories of the old colleges of their 
youth." 2 By the same author reference is made to an observa- 
tion of a committee of the Trustees of Jefferson College appoint- 
ed in 1837 "to inquire into the causes of ill success of that in- 
stitution." The committee attributed the unsatisfactory condi- 
tion: 3 

"Chiefly to the prevalent feeling of partiality and veneration for 
the time-honored and distinguished institutions of the North, which 
impelled most parents to resort to them for the education of their 
sons, attaching a high value to the high honors derived from those 
venerated shrines, from which have issued so many distinguished men 
whose names have shed a luster upon the history of their country." 

Until after about 1830, when the abolition idea ceased to be 
a sentiment only, and the question of slavery became the all-ob- 
Borbing issue of the day, "the prepossession in favor of the 
Northern and Eastern Colleges" made it seem inadvisable, if not 
unnecessary at that time, to establish colleges and universities in 
the state for the young men seeking higher education. With the 
establishment in the North and Ea$& of societies 4 and newspa- 
pers 5 which had for their purpose "immediate abolition" there 

'Mayes, History of Education in Miss, Ch. IX, p. 125. 

'Mayes, History of Education in Miss., Ch. IX, p 126, citing Charter 

and St. of Jefferson College, 1840, p. 89. 
*The New England Anti-Slavery Society, Established 1832; the 

American Anti-Slavery Society, established 1833; American and 

Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, established 1831. 
•The Liberator, established 1831. 


rapidly developed in the South a desire for more Southern insti- 
tutions of higher education. "The 'gradual abolition' theory, 
which had largely prevailed in the South itself up to this time, 
was swept away in the tide of resentment, and the new and 
aggressive phase of the anti-slavery feeling was regarded as in- 
sulting to the South and dangerous to the continuancy of the 
Union, ,, says Judge Mayes. 6 

There is no doubt of the fact that the opposition to North- 
ern education during the period from 1830 to the outbreak of 
the civil war hastened the establishment of the state Univer- 
sity of Mississippi. In 1839 Governor McNutt voiced 
the sentiment against sending the young men and 
young women of the state to Northern and Eastern 
colleges. He urged that "patriotism no less than 
economy" made it the duty of parents to educate their children 
at home ; and that ' ' those opposed to us in principle, and alien- 
ated in interest, can not safely be entrusted with the education 
of our sons and daughters." 7 Governor A. G. Brown, who was 
a leading advocate of free public schools, 8 took an important 
part in the agitation for Southern colleges and universities. He 
was an earnest advocate of higher educational institutions for 
the State of Mississippi as a necessary part of a system of pub- 
lic education ; he was no less earnest in advocating such insti- 
tutions as necessary on account of the political exigencies re- 
sulting from the agitation of the question of "immediate aboli- 
tion." The following excerpt from his message of January 10, 
1844, accredited with having brought about the incorporation of 
the State University, is indicative of his attitude in this latter 
respect : 9 

"The practice of sending the youth of the country abroad to be 
educated ought to be discouraged * * * * Instead of sending our 
youth abroad to be educated, where they sometimes contract unfor- 
tunate habits, and grow up with false prejudices against home insti- 

•History of Education in Miss., Ch. IX, p. 127. 

7 Message of Gov. McNutt, Jan. 8, 1839, House Journal, 1839, p. 9, 

Mayes, p. 127. 
8 Et seq 
•House 'Journal, 1844, p. 207. Mayes, p. 127. 

- •■ 



tutions and laws, they may be kept at home, comparatively under the 
supervisory care of their parents, surrounded by those institutions 
and protected by those laws which it is proper they should be early 
brought to love and reverence." 

Again, in an address delivered at Madison College in 1859, 
ex-Governor Brown said, "Let Southern parents cease to send 
their sons and daughters to the North, and resolve to build up 
schools and colleges at home." 10 He explained how Jefferson 
College, which had been incorporated in 1802, had been pre- 
vented from enjoying a successful career in the state, and con- 
cerning it he said, "The cause is obvious — the children of Mis- 
sissippi could only be educated at Northern schools." 11 

Although unquestionably hastening the establishment of 
the University of Mississippi, the agitation over slavery was not 
responsible for the founding of the University; the establish- 
ment of the University was founded upon legislation passed be- 
fore the question of abolition assumed very large proportions. 
The origin of the State University, like most all the Western 
State Universities, can be traced to the Ordinance of 1787, as 
supplemented by an act of 1790, extending the provisions of the 
Ordinance of the State of Mississippi, and as a result of which 
policy the State was granted one township of land for the en- 
dowment of " a seminary of learning. ' ' 12 In his annual message 
to the state legislature in 1835 Governor Runnels said: 13 

"The 36 sections of land granted to this State by the United States 
for a seminary of learning have been sold for the sum of $277,282.53, 
a sum quite sufficient to justify the State to go into establishment of 
a university, and with a view to its location I would recommend the 
appointment of commissioners * * * * whose duty it shall be to 
select the spot for its location." 

Governor Quitman speaking of the grant of land for the ' ; semi- 
nary of learning" called attention to the legislature of 1836 that 
it would be proper "that some plan for carrying out the pur- 
poses of the grant should be adopted." 14 To the legislature of 

"Mayes, History of Education in Miss., Ch. IX, p. 126. 


"Congress of the U. S., acts of March 3, 1815, and February 20, 1819. 

"Mayes, p. 122. 

"Mayes, p 122. 


1837 Governor Lynch suggested that five or more commissioners 
be appointed to select a proper site for the seminary that was 
to be established. Local jealousy continued to interfere with 
the selection of the location of the institution. In 1840 the fund 
was reported as nominally amounting to about $300,000.00, but 
it had been invested in bank stock and was in danger .of being 
lost. Governor McNutt, in his message of January 8, 1839, 
warned the legislature that there was danger of the fund being 
lost, and he urged, therefore, the immediate establishment of 
the seminary. In his message of 1840 he again urged the legis- 
lature to establish the institution of learning, saying, "The dis- 
cordant views of the members of the legislature, in relation to 
the location of our State seminary, have heretofore prevented the 
passage of a law providing for the final disposition of the 
fund. ' >15 The matter of selecting the site for the location of the 
institution was the subject of an act passed by the legislature 
February 20, 1840, which, in part, directed that "seven possi- 
ble sites should be selected by the legislature on joint ballot, and 
that three commissioners should be selected to examine and 
report on the sites to be selected and to secure conditionally, by 
purchase or donation one section of land for the university lo- 
cation." 16 The commissioners were required to report to the 
legislature of 1841, when the site was to be chosen. The com- 
mittee made its report as required, 17 and on January 26, 1841, 
the two houses in joint session selected Oxford, on the sixth 
ballot by 58 votes to 57 for Mississippi City, 18 as the site of the 
State University. The legislature granted a charter for the 
university on February 24, 1844. 

In the original charter of the university thirteen trustees 
were named who should have "full power and entire control 
over the funds belonging to the 'University of Mississippi,' or 
the 'seminary fund,' after it shall have been collected, to be by 
them applied toward the consummation of the plan of the 'Uni- 

"Mayes, p. 123, for fuller quotation. 
"Mayes, p. 123. 

"Complete Report in House Journal, 1841, p. 267. 
"The five other towns balloted for were Brandon, Monroe Mission- 
ary Station, Louisville, Kosciusko, and Middleton. 




versity of Mississippi;" and * * * * power to devise and 
adopt such a system of learning as in their judgment they 
may deem most advisable to be pursued in the course of educa- 
tion in the university; and to employ a competent person to 
draft a plan of the same, and appoint commissioners to contract 
for the erection of the university building, so soon as they may 
think advisable/' 19 

The first session of the University of Mississippi opened 
November 6, 1848. Fifteen members of the first graduating 
class received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1851. By act 
of the legislature approved February 3, 1857, the governor of 
the state was made ex-officio president of the board of trustees, 
which place the governor has held ever since. Until 1861 the 
board of trustees of the University had themselves elected new 
•members to fill vacancies on the board, but by an act of the 
legislature December 19, 1861, this power was taken over by 
the legislature, the number of trustees remaining thirteen with 
the governor ex-officio president. 

The work of the University was seriously interfered with 
by the civil war and reconstruction. In 1871 an entirely new 
charter was granted, but the administration of the affairs of the 
institution under this charter remained practically the same as 
under the previous laws. 20 When the Democratic party re- 
gained control of the state in 1876 another change was effected. 
The legislature enacted a law April 14, 1876 entitled ' ' An act to 
reorganize the University of Mississippi." Section 1 of this 
statute provided "That the University of Mississippi incorpo- 
rated the 24th of February, 1844, shall continue to be organized 
and governed as follows, to wit: The board of trustees of said 
institution shall be fifteen in number, five of whom shall be 
alumni of said institution. The members of said board shall be 
appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and 
consent of the senate, and shall hold their office for six 
years * * * * " 21 Two trustees' term under this char- 

"Sections 1 and 3, act of incorporation; quoted in full, pp. 128-129, 

Mayes History of Education in Miss. 
"Code 1871, Ch. 40, Article 1-111, Sections 2062-2072. 
"Sec. 1 of the law of April 14, 1876. 



ter were to expire every two years. The governor was made 
president of the board and in case of vacancies occuring in the 
board of trustees during a recess of the senate he was to make 
appointments for the ad interim period. 22 

Prior to June 1882, women were not admitted to the Uni- 
versity, but by action of the board of trustees at that time the 
institution was made coeducational, and that feature of the 
University has worked satisfactorily since its adoption. 

Aside from slight changes from time to time in methods of 
administration, the affairs of the State University were directed 
by the University board of trustees down to 1910, at which time 
a decided change was made in the administration of all of the 
state supported higher educational institutions. 23 Instead of a 
separate board of trustees for the state university and three 
state colleges a single board was provided and given control of 
the affairs of the four institutions. 

Section 1 of the statute 24 of 1910 makes provision for "one 
board of trustees who shall have the sole supervision and con- 
trol of the following colleges, supported and maintained by the 
State of Mississippi, to-wit : 

The University of Mississippi, located at Oxford, Missis- 

The Agricultural and Mechanical College, located at Stark- 
ville, Mississippi. 

The Industrial Institute and College, located at Columbus, 

The Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, located at 
Rodney, Mississippi. ' ' Under this act the method by which 
trustees were selected was changed from selection from the state 
at large to a method of selecting from districts. It was pro- 
vided that the governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, 
should appoint seven, trustees, two from each Supreme Court 
District, and one from the state at large. Not only was the 
appointing authority, by the term of this act, restricted to dis- 

sections 3 and 4, Law of April 14, 1876. 

"Infra., p. 139. 

"Chapter 114, H. B. No 295, Laws of 1910, approved April 14, 1910. 




tricts in making selection for the board of trustees, but there 
was an additional restriction; for the law required that one 
of the trustees should be a practical farmer, one a practising 
lawyer, and one a "practical builder or architect or factory 
man. ' ,25 Two of the trustees were to be appointed for two years 
and two for four years, and three, one of whom should be from 
the state at large, for six years. No member of the legislature 
or state officer should be either a member or an ex-officio mem- 
ber of the board of trustees. To meet the requirement in the 
Labauve endowment to the University, made in 1879, 26 the act 
of 1910 provided for one additional trustee for the University 
of Mississippi, who should be a citizen of DeSoto County and 
who should serve a term of four years. 27 

It was claimed by the advocates of the single board plan 
that it would first, bring about economy of administration, and 
secondly, would effect a desired change in the organization of the 
ooard which would make it impossible for any governor during 
the four-year term to gain control of the Board through new 
appointments. Both of these changes would have been wholly 
"meritorious but it was charged by many at the time that this 
centralization of the administration of the higher educational 
institutions of the state was more the result of political condi- 
tions in the state than of a real desire on the part of the legisla- 
ture and executive branches of the state government to bring 
about better or more economical administration of the affairs of 
the institutions. There were other charges that the adoption of 
the one-board plan in 1910 was, at least partly, in anticipation 
of the plans of the next succeeding state administration. 
Whether these charges were true or untrue, when the 1912 legis- 
lature met, under the new administration, the work of the 1910 
legislature was modified to meet the wishes of the administra- 
tion of the day. The statute enacted by the legislature of 1912 
provided that "the governor shall be a member and ex-officio 
president of the board of trustees having control and super- 

"Chapter 114, H. B. No. 295, Laws of 1910, Sec. 2. 

■"For an account of this endowment, see Mayes, History of Education 

in Miss., Ch. IX, pp. 177-178. 
"Laws of 1910, Ch. 114, H. B. No. 295, Sec. 2. 



vision of the University of Mississippi, the Agricultural and 
Mechanical College, the Industrial Institute and College and the 
Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, and the state super- 
intendent of education shall also be made a member of said 
board, and this board shall be known and designated as the 
board of trustees of the university and colleges of Mississip- 
pi." 28 A part of the same statute by repealing Chapter 113, acts 
of 1910, 29 made it lawful for legislators, state and judicial offi- 
cers to be members of the board of trustees of the state univer- 
sity and colleges. 30 The statute just referred to was approved 
February 17, 1912, and a few weeks later, March 5, 1912, an act 
was passed amending the 1910 law 31 which provided^ for the 
manner of selecting the board of trustees of the state university 
and colleges. The two main features of the law of 1912 were, 
first, the seven trustees appointed by the governor, by and with 
the consent of the senate, were to be selected from the state-at- 
large, as had been done before the passage of the 1910 law and 
the restriction contained in the 1910 law as to the qualifications 
of three of the seven 32 were removed; secondly, the board was 
given authority to appoint one of its members as secretary of the 
board, and it was required that the person chosen as secretary 
should be a competent accountant whose duty it should be to 
check up personally all the affairs and finances of each of the 
institutions at least twice a j^ear, and for his service he should 
receive a reasonable compensation, to be fixed by the board of 
trustees. 33 

At present the state university, like the three state colleges, 
is administered by the Board of Trustees of the State Univer- 
sity and Colleges. The State University has greatly expanded 

"Laws 1912, Ch 169, S. B. No. 200, Sec. 1, approved February 17, 1912. 
M H. B. No. 622, Session 1908; filed in the office of the Secretary of 

State, Jan. 7, 1910; became a law without the governor's signature, 

under Sec. 72 of the State Constitution. 
30 Laws of 1912, Ch. 169, S. B. No. 200, Sec. 3, approved February 17, 

"Sec. 2, Ch. 114. 

a Ch. 114, H. B No. 295, Sec. 2, Laws of 1910. 
to Laws of 1912", Ch. 170, S. B. No. 432, Sections 1 and 2, approved 

March 5, 1912. 


its scope of work, and the number of students in attendance show- 
substantial increase from year to year, having enrolled during 
the session of 1915-1916 a total of 601. For the biennium begin- 
ning January 1, 1918 and ending January 1, 1920 there was ap- 
propriated by the state legislature "for the support,- mainte- 
nance, repairs, additional buildings, improvements, furnishings 
and equipment of the University of Mississippi ' ' a total of 
$181,546.00. 34 

The Mississipppi Agricultural and Mechanical College owes 
its origin to the agricultural land-scrip fund established by an act 
of Congress approved July 2, 1862 entitled "An act donating 
public lands to the several States and Territories which may 
provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and mechanic 
arts. ' ' Under this act each state was given ' ' an amount of land 
equal to 30,000 acres for each Senator and Representative in 
Congress to w T hich it was entitled under the census of I860." 35 
The proceeds of the donation were directed to be "invested in 
stocks of the United States or of the States, or some other safe 
stocks, yielding not less than 5 per cent interest; and shall con- 
stitute a perpetual fund, the capital of which shall be inviolably 
appropriated to the endowment, maintenance, and support of at 
least one college, where the leading object shall be, without ex- 
cluding other scientific and classical studies or military tactics, 
to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture 
and mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the 
States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the lib- 
eral and practical education of the industrial classes in the sev- 
eral pursuits and professions of life." 36 

Two years was the time within which, by the terms of the 

"Divided as follows: Support fund, for interest on original Seminary- 
fund for 1918 and 1919, $65,286, for interest on 1894 land grant 
fund 1918 and 1919, $19,460, for support to supplement Seminary 
and land grant fund, $64,500; special funds, $32,300. See Laws of 
1918, Ch. 14, pp. 20-21, S. B. No. 43. 

"Mayes, History of Education in Miss., Ch. XI, p. 227. 

"Morrill Land-Grant Act, approved July 2, 1862, Section 4, 12 Stat. 
L., 503. See Mayes, p. 227. 


original act, states were required to express their acceptance, 37 i. 
e., the states were given until July 2, 1864 to qualify for the fed- 
eral aid. Subsequently the time was extended two years, or until 
July 2, 1866, and then extended again until July 2, 1867, 38 
Under the provisions of the act of Congress the state of Missis- 
sippi, as well as other Southern States, could not immediately 
take advantage of the Federal grant; for it was provided that 
"No State, while in a condition of rebellion or insurrection 
against the government of the United States, shall be entitled to 
the benefit of this act. ' ' 39 As soon as practicable after the close 
of the war the matter was brought to the attention of the state 
legislature. Acting upon the recommendation of October 1866, 
made by Governor Humphreys, the special session of the legisla- 
ture of that year passed the necessary laws 40 accepting the grant, 
and the governor was requested to take the matter up with the 
Federal authorities. In his message to the legislature January 
24, 1867, Governor Humphreys said : 41 

"On the 24th of November, 1866, I addressed a letter to- the Com- 
missioner of the General Land Office at Washington City, informing 
him of the acceptance by the legislature of Mississippi of the terms of 
the grant of land by Congress for the establishment of an agricultural 
and mechanical college, and requested to be informed if any further 
legislation v/as needeo to secure the scrip. I have received no reply to 
this communication. I understand, however, that the Federal Govern- 
ment has suspended further issuance of the scrip to any of the South- 
ern States/' 

The governor's surmise was correct, for the grant was refused 
to the state of Mississippi on the ground that the time within 
which application should have been made had elapsed. The re- 
lation of the State to the Union being a political issue at that 
time, it was thought that the politics involved had something to 

"Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, 12 Stat. L., 503, seventh provision 
of Sec. 5 reads: "No State shall be entitled to the benefits of this 
act unless it shall express its acceptance thereof by its legislature 
within two years from the date of its approval by the President." 

M Act of 1866, approved July 23, 1866, 14 Stat. L., 208. 

*12 Stat. L., 503, Sec. 5, sixth provision. 

"Joint Resolution of the Miss, legislature, approved Oct. 31, 1866; 
Laws of Miss., 1866-67, p. 213. 

"Senate Journal, 1866, Appendix, p. 95; quoted by Edward Mayes, 
History of Education in Miss., Ch. XI, p. 227. 


do with the denial to Mississippi the benefits of the land-scrip 
fund. 42 In 1871 Governor Alcorn took the matter up with the 
Secretary of the Interior, who suggested action by the state leg- 
islature. Accordingly Governor Alcorn made a recommendation 
to the legislature, which resulted in the act approved May 13, 
1871 on the basis of which the state was permitted to share in 
the Federal land-scrip fund One of the provisions of the statute 
of May 13, 1871 was as follows : 43 

"That the bonds should be placed in the State treasury for safe- 
keeping, two fifths to the credit of the University of Mississippi and 
three-fifths to the credit of a university to be dedicated to the educa- 
tion of youths of color, and the interest therefrom to be paid to the 
two universities in the proportions specified, on condition that they 
shall each establish, and apply the said interest to the maintenance of, 
a college of agriculture and mechanic arts, including machine shop, 
model farm, a chemical laboratory, and a chair of agricultural chem- 

The land-scrip was issued the following September and covered 
an area of 209,920 acres. The fund amounted to $227,150 by 
1875. 44 As will be noted later 45 Alcorn College for the educa- 
tion of negroes was incorporated simultaneously with the pas- 
sage of the act of 1871, under which the land-scrip was secured 
for the state. An agricultural department was established at 
the State Unversity in 1872, to be supported by state appropria- 
tions in addition to the congressional endowment. Judge 
Mayes calls attention to the fact that "up to January 1, 1875, 
the interest on the bonds was paid in proportion of three-fifths 
to the Alcorn University, and two-fifths to the University of 
Mississippi ; but the general appropriation bill of that year re- 
quired the interest to be thereafter divided between the institu- 
tions equally, which was done. ' ' 46 

After a few years it was apparent that the needs of the 
state demanded a more vigorous policy in training leaders for 
the various agricultural activities than was possible through the 

^Ency. Miss. History, Rowland, Vol. 1, p. 50. 

"Laws of Miss., 1871, p. 704. For statement of all provisions of the 

statute, see Mayes, p. 228. 
"History of Education in Miss., Mayes, p. 228. 
a Infra., p. 145. Incorporated May 13, 1871. 
"History of Education in Miss., p. 229. 


Agricultural Department of the University; for in spite of "a 
strong and distinguished faculty, an excellent course of study, 
a farm well and conveniently located, and in every way adapted 
to the purposes of the Department of Agriculture, Horticulture 
and Botany, this school of agriculture and mechanic arts under 
the surroundings and environments of the University was not 
popular or atti active to students, consequently, comparatively 
few registered for work in that college, and during the six years 
of its existence in connection with the University, no evidence 
is found that a single student took the entire course or that a 
graduate was turned out. After 1876, for lack of funds to 
properly equip the farm it was abandoned." 47 

It was realized that the Congressional endowment, one half 
of which was being applied for the maintenance of courses in 
the State University, could easily be a nucleus for the estab- 
lishment of an agricultural college. By the determined efforts 
of the farmers, and particularly the State Grange, 48 the im- 
portance of establishing such an institution was brought promi- 
nently before the state legislature. The main provisions of an 
act passed by the state legislature February 28, 1878, were as 
follows : 

1. To reorganize Alcorn University (for negroes) into an 
agricultural college, under the name of "The Alcorn Agricul- 
tural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi. ' ' 

2. To establish an agricultural college for the education of 
the white youth of the state, to be known as "The Agricultural 
and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi." 

3. To set apart for the use of the two colleges, in equal 
proportions, the interest of the agricultural land-scrip fund, 
thereby excluding the University of Mississippi from any fur- 
ther participation in that fund. 49 

* T J. M. White, Pub. Miss. Historical Society, Vol. Ill, p. 345. See 
also, History of Education in Miss., Mayes, pp. 173-174, and Ency. 
Miss. History, Rowland, Vol. I, p. 50, 

^See Ency. Miss. History, Vol. I, pp. 55-57, Agricultural Organiza- 
tions; also, J. M. White, Pub. Miss Historical Society, Vol. Ill, 
p. 346. 

'"Mayes, History of Education in Miss., p. 230. 


This same act of 1878 authorizing the establishment of the 
Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College authorized the 
appointment of a board of nine trustees, who were ' ' granted all 
the power that is necessary for the accomplishment of the trust 
that is reposed in them." The trustees were appointed by the 
Governor of the State, who was made ex-offieio president of 
the board. The approval of the Senate was necessary in case 
of all appointments made by the Governor to the board of 
trustees. The duty of selecting a site for the college devolved 
upon the first board of trustees, and at a meeting of the board 
in the Governor's office at Jackson, December 13, 1878, the col- 
lege was located at Starkville. 50 

The college received its first students in October 1880; the 
enrollment of students for its first session was 354; and in 1883 
eight members of the first graduating class received their di- 
plomas. The inventory of college property in 1883 showed a 
total value of $174,757.09 ; in 1893, $230,316.14 ; in 1903, $532,- 
270.54;; and in 1913, $1,238,812.50. 51 No doubt another decade 
will bring a greater increase in the value of the college property. 
In 1919 there was a total of 2250 acres included in the college 
campus and farms. 

In 1882 women were admitted to the college, but no pro- 
vision was ever made for their living at the college. From time 
to time there were a few women students, until the board of 
trustees in 1913 decided to admit no more women to the insti- 
tution. This rule, however, does not apply to the summer nor- 
mal work, which was begun in 1905 as a part of the work of the 
Department of Industrial Pedagogy (now, in 1919, the Depart- 
ment of Education and Sociology) established in 1903 in re- 
sponse to the suggestion of the State Teachers ' Association. 52 

The affairs of the institution were' administered by a sepa- 
rate board of trustess down to 1910 when the single board of 

trustees was established for the state university and the three 

— . : gj 

M For the names of the first board of trustees of the college, see J. M. 

White, Publications Miss. Historical Society, Vol. Ill, p. 348. 
"Miss. Official and Statistical Reg, Cent. Vol., 1917, B. M. Walker, 

p. 644. 
"Ency. Miss. History, Vol. I, pp. 54-55. 



state colleges. 53 The scope of the work of the Mississippi Agri- 
cultural and Mechanical College has been rapidly broadened dur- 
ing recent years. It is at present the largest educational institu- 
tion in the state, having for the session of 1916-1917 a total at- 
tendance of 1280, not including the 616 students enrolled in the 
summer school in 1916. 54 As at present organized, the college year 
is divided into quarters, thereby enabling students who care to 
do so to remain in college practically eleven months and to fin- 
ish the regular four years course in much less time than under 
the old system of the academic year comprising nine months' 
work. The institution is liberally supported by the state. For 
the biennium beginning January 1, 1918 and ending January 1, 
1920 there was appropriated by the state legislature "for the 
support, maintenance, repairs, additional buildings, improve- 
ments, furnishing and equipment" of the College a total of 
$305,224.72, which amount included "interest on the agricul- 
tural land script fund and interest on * * * * sale of col- 
lege land donated by the United States government." 55 

The Industrial Institute and College* located at Columbus, 
Mississippi, is referred to by Dr. Dunbar Rowland 56 as "An in- 
stitution for the education of white girls in industrial technic 
and also letters and science, as its name indicates." Miss Sallie 
Eola Reneau, a resident of Grenada, was an early advocate of a 
college for young women. Her efforts encouraged Governor 
McRae in his message to the legislature in 1856 to commend to 
that body the favorable consideration of "the proposition for 
the establishment by the State of a female college, for the thor- 
ough and accomplished education of the daughters of the 
State." 57 Although not accomplishing her purposes, Miss 
Reneau continued to advocate the cause of state aid for the 
higher education of young women until in 1873, her efforts again 

M Supra., p. 131. Laws of 1910, Ch. 114, Sec. 2; Laws 1912, Ch. 169, S. 

B. No. 200 and Ch. 170, S. B. No. 432. 
"Miss. A. & M. Catalogue, 1916-1917, p. 168. 
"Laws of 1918, Ch. 8, pp. 14-15, H. B. No. 13, show items for which 

appropriation was made. 
"Ency. Miss. History, Vol. I, p. 933. 
"Senate Journal, 1856, p. 22. 




thwarted, she removed to the state of Tennessee. 57 

The work that had been so ably begun by Miss Reneau was 
taken up by Mrs. Annie C. Peyton, of Copiah County. A col- 
lege graduate herself and thoroughly interested in the higher 
education of young women, Mrs. Peyton worked w r ith inde- 
fatigable energy for the establishment of a state-supported 
womans' college. The matter was brought before the state leg- 
islature in 1879 and again in 1880, but Mrs. Peyton's efforts 
on these occasions brought no tangible results. Meantime, how- 
ever, largely through contributions of articles and constant en- 
couragement from Mrs. Peyton the newspapers of the state were 
showing a favorable attitude toward the movement. The Dem- 
ocratic State Convention wmich met in Jackson August, 1881, 
unanimously resolved ''That as Mississippi has made liberal 
provision for the education of all of her sons, this convention 
declares it to be the highest duty of the legislature to establish, 
with ample endowment, a State institution for the education of 
our daughters." 59 The legislature of 1882 failed to act favora- 
bly upon a bill presented to them. When the legislature of 
1884 met a bill which had been prepared by Mrs. Peyton was 
introduced providing for the establishment of "a State normal 
and industrial school for the white girls of Mississippi" 60 An- 
other bill was introduced in the same legislature by Hon. J. 
McC. Martin of Claiborne County. This bill, which was intro- 
duced in the Senate, provided for the establishment of the " In- 
dustrial Institute and College." "This bill," says Judge Mayes, 
"made more liberal provision than the one drafted by Mrs. 
Peyton, and she and her co-workers immediately abandoned 
their own and rallied to the support of the Martin bill. ' ' 61 The 
passage of the bill was secured by a majority of one vote in the 
senate, and the act of incorporation was approved March 12, 

"See, History of Education in Miss., Mayes, pp. 245-246. 
"Mayes, History of Education in Miss., p. 247. 

•"Bill introduced by J. K. McNeely of Hinds County, See Mayes, p. 

•'Hist, of Education in Miss., p. 247. 



Under the first charter of this institution the Governor was 
authorized to appoint trustees, with the consent of the senate, 
one from each Congressional district and two from the State at 
large. The governor and State Treasurer were made, respec- 
tively' president and treasurer of the board of trustees. It was 
made the duty of the first board of trustees to select a site for 
the college, and soon after the board was organized, in 1884, 
Columbus was chosen for the location of the college. 

From the beginning the college has had for its purpose 
the giving of collegiate education, normal training, and indus- 
trial preparation. The first session opened October 22, 1885 
with an enrollment of 341 students. In 1894 Congress donated 
a section of land in aid of this college, and the same, under a 
State enactment, was sold for $155,458, which was turned into 
the State treasury, interest to be paid the college annually at 6 
per cent. 62 

With slight changes from time to time the affairs of the 
Industrial Institute and College down to 1910 were adminis- 
tered by a board of trustees appointed for that purpose alone. 
As had been noted, 63 by the laws of 1910, 64 amended in 1912, 65 
the institution since that time has been under the control of the 
Board of Trustees for the State University and Colleges. The 
institution has developed steadily since its establishment. A 
total of 933 students were enrolled during the session 1917" 
1918. 66 The total appropriation, made by the State legislature 
for the biennial period beginning January 1, 1918 and ending 
January 1, 1920, including the accrued interest upon the funds 
paid into the State treasury as proceeds of the sale of lands 
donated to the Indutsrial Institute by the United States gov- 
ernment, amounted to $223,553. 64. 67 

The establishment of the Mississippi Normal College by act 

"Ency. Miss, History, Vol. I, p. 935. 

"Supra., p. 131. 

"Laws of 1910, Ch. 114, Sec. 2. 

"Laws of 1912, Ch. 169, S. B. No. 200, and Ch. 170, S. B. No. 432. 

•"Bulletin Miss. Industrial Institute and College, June 1918, p. 169. 

"Laws of 1918, Ch. 4, pp. 10-12, S. B. No. 271; Ch. 5, p. 12, H. B. No. 

615; Ch. 6, pp. 12-13, H. B. No. 570; Ch. 7, p. 13, H. B. No. 148. 

Here will be found the items for which appropriation was made. 



of the legislature of 1910 was the result of a long fight by the 
teachers and others interested in public education in the state. 
Writing in 1917, Professor T. P. Scott says : 68 

"The history of the establishment of the Mississippi Normal Col- 
lege is the history of the growth and development of teacher influence 
in Mississippi during the past thirty years. It is a record that reflects 
no credit on the wisdom of our law-makers during that period; a rec- 
ord that will be examined with surprise by the future historian, who 
will puzzle his brain to reconcile the fact that the State that prided 
itself as being the pioneer in so many radical reformations and im- 
provements could permit itself to be the last State in the Union to 
recognize the need of trained teachers for its public school system." 

Resolutions favoring the establishment of a teachers' school 
were adopted by the Mississippi Teachers' Association in 1888, 
again in 1889, and again in 1890. Each year thereafter the sub- 
ject was discussed at the annual meetings of the teachers. At 
the meeting of the State Teachers' Association in 1901, Mr. G. 
F. Boyd urged the establishment of a teachers' training school, 
and as a result of his efforts a committee was authorized to 
memorialize the legislature to establish "a high grade State 
Normal School." 69 The legislature did not act favorably upon 
the report. In 1902 the Committee of Ten on Rural Schools 
urged the establishment of a Normal which should have for its 
purpose "the instruction of persons in the art of teaching, and 
in all the various branches pertaining to the public schools of 
Mississippi." 70 Governor Longino recommended to the legisla- 
ture of 1902 that a state normal school be established, but again 
the legislature failed to act. 

Through an organized effort of the teachers of the state 
public sentiment finally became well enough organized to bring 
results from the legislature and in 1910 the legislature passed 
an act "to establish the Mississippi Normal College to qualify 
teachers for the public schools; to provide for the government 
thereof ; to provide how the location shall be made and the build- 

"Miss. Official and Statistical Register, Centenary Volume, 1917, The 

Miss. Normal College, p. 647. 
•Miss. Official and Statistical Register, Centenary Volume, 1917, T. 

P. Scott, p. 247. 
"Ibid., p. 648. 


ings constructed, and for other purposes/' 71 By the act of in- 
corporation there was provided for the administration of the 
affairs of the Mississippi Normal College a board of trustees, 
' ' composed of one member from each congressional district in the 
State, and of the Governor, and State Superintendent of Educa- 
tion, serving as ex-officio, the former to be president of the 
board." 72 It was required that within thirty days after the 
passage of the act the Governor should nominate, and hy and 
with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint the eight 
members of the board, one to be from each Congressional dis- 
trict. 73 One of the first duties of the board of trustees was to 
select a location for the college. The board was required, as 
soon as practicable after their appointment, "to receive from 
the localities desiring to receive the location of said school, pro- 
posals for donations for a suitable site, and other valuable con- 
siderations, and * * * * locate the same in the place of- 
fering the most advantageous conditions, all things consid" 
ered." 74 

The legislature of 1910 passed four acts supplementary to 
the act of March 30th under which the Normal College was in- 
corporated. They were as follows: (1) an act of April 16th 
authorizing the municipalities of Mississippi to issue bonds for 
the purpose of procuring the Mississippi Normal College; 73 
(2) an act of April 16th authorizing the counties of Mississippi 
to issue bonds in the sum not exceeding $100,000 for the 
purpose of procuring the Mississippi Normal College; 76 (3) an 
act of April 12th authorizing Forrest County to issue and nego- 
tiate bonds in any amount not exceeding fifty thousand dollars 
for the purpose of procuring the location in the county of the 
Mississippi Normal College; 77 and (4) an act of April 14th 

"Laws of 1910, Ch. 119, pp. 105-109, H. B. No. 204, approved March 

30, 1910. 
"Ibid., Sec. 3. 
"Ibid., Sec. 4 
"Laws of 1910, Ch. 119, pp. 105-109, H. B. No. 204, approved March 

30, 1910, Sec. 9. 
"Laws of 1910, Ch. 120, p. 109, S. B. No. 322. 
"Ibid., Ch 121, pp. 109-110, S. B. No. 323. 
"Ibid., Ch. 246, pp. 234-235, H. B. No. 576. 


authorizing the city of Hattiesburg to issue and negotiate bonds 
not exceeding $50,000 for the purpose of procuring the location 
in that city of the Mississippi Normal College. 78 

As will be noted, the legislature of 1910 made no appropria- 
tion, but merely gave the right to establish the Normal College. 
In his article on The Mississippi Normal College, 79 Professor T. 
P. Scott Says : 

"Soon after its appointment, the board advertised for bids in the 
nature of land and cash bonus for the location of the college. It was 
stipulated that no bid of less than $100,000 would be considered. When 
the time arrived for the opening of the bids it was found that three 
communities, Jackson, Laurel and Hattiesburg, had entered the com- 
petition and that the lowest bid included $200,000 cash and a suitable 
free site. The location was awarded to Hattiesburg for the considera- 
tion of $258,000 cash, 120 acres for a site, and an additional 640 acres 
located near by." 

Forrest County make a gift in land to the College. 

The first session of the Normal College opened September 
18, 1912, and the total enrollment' for the session reached 876. 
The total enrollment for the session of 1915-1916, including the 
summer term, was 1334. 8D The College does not grant degrees. 
The state legislature has made liberal provision for the Normal 
College since its establishment. The appropriation for the years 
1912 and 1913 amounted to $126,500.00 ; 81 for 1914 and 1915, 
$178,659.24 ; 82 for 1916 and 1917, $101,350 ; 83 for 1918 and 
1919, $103,500. 8 * 

If the policy of the state in the administration of the uni- 
versity and state colleges is to continue to keep those institu- 
tions under a single board of trustees it would appear that the 
State Normal College should be included under this board. It 
is claimed by those who favor the separate board, as now con- 
stituted, for the State Normal College that inasmuch as the pur- 
pose of the Normal College is of a different nature than the 

"Ibid., Ch. 344, pp. 297-298, H. B. No. 575. 

"Miss. Official and Statistical Register, Centenary Volume, 1917, 

p. 650. 
"Miss. O. & S. Register, Centenary Volume, 1917, T. P. Scott, p. 651. 
"Laws of 1912, Ch. 26, pp. 28-29, S. B. No. 151. 
a Laws of 1914, Ch. 26, pp. 33-35, S. B. No. 72. 
"Laws of 1916, Ch. 30, pp. 35-36, S. B. No. 196. 
"Laws of 1918, Ch. 16, pp. 22-23, S. B. No. 10. 




other state educational institutions it is proper that its affairs 
should be directed by a separate board. The same might be said 
at least to considerable extent in regard to any one of the four 
institutions at present under the single state board of trustees. 
During the reconstruction period in Mississippi three in- 
stitutions for the higher education of negroes were established 
in the state. Tougaloo University was founded in 1869 by the 
American Missionary Association. 85 Shaw University, which 
had been established at Holly Springs by the Mississippi con- 
ference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was incorporated 
by an act of the legislature May 26, 1870. Under this act the 
trustees of Shaw University transferred to the State Normal 
Department for use as a State Normal School for the training 
of negro teachers. 86 The legislature of 1870 discussed the sub- 
ject of creating a university for negroes, to be maintained at 
equal expense with the State University at Oxford. 87 This was 
discouraged by Governor Alcorn at the time notwithstanding 
the fact that he showed great interest in the education of the 
negroes. Oakland College, 88 in Claiborne County, which was 
founded in 1828 by the Presbyterians of Mississippi, Arkansas 
and Louisiana, was advertised for sale and in 1871 it was pur- 
chased by the State of Mississippi to be used as an institution 
for the higher education of negro men. The property of Oak- 
land College included ample brick buildings and 235 acres of 
land, and it was transferred to the State for the consideration 
of $42,500. 89 Alcorn University of Mississippi was the name 
given the institution in the act of incorporation approved May 
13, 1871, the institution having been given the name of the gov- 
ernor. "Fifty thousand dollars," says Dr. Rowland, "was ap- 
propriated, annually, for ten years, for its maintenance, and at 
the same time $50,000 a year was likewise appropriated to the 

"For a history of Tougaloo University, see Mayes, History of Edu- 
cation in Miss., pp. 259-266. 

"For a history of the State Normal School (for negroes) at Holly 
Springs, See Mayes, History of Education in Miss., pp. 266-270. 

"Ency. Miss. History, Vol. I, p. 58. 

"For a history of this institution, see Mayes, History of Education in 
Miss., pp. 63-70. 

"Gov. Powers' annual message, House Journal, 1876, p. 19. 


University at Oxford. ' ' 90 Prior to the meeting of the state legis- 
lature of 1875, the first legislature to meet after the overthrow 
of the carpet-bag government in the state, Alcorn University 
(for negroes) by provisions of the act of the state legislature 
of May 13, 1871, 91 received three-fifths and the State University 
(for whites) at Oxford two-fifths of the federal land grant, fund 
under the Morrill Act approved by Congress July 2, 1862. 92 In 
1878 Alcorn University was reorganized and became the Alcorn 
Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi. 
After 1878 the legislature divided the fund obtained from the 
sale of lands granted by Congress between Alcorn Agricultural 
and Mechanical College and the State Agricultural and 
Mechanical College at Starkville. Since 1890 the Morrill 
fund has been apportioned between the colleges according to the 
ratio of the two races in the state. 93 The following excerpt from 
an "article written in 1917 by J. L. Eowan, 94 president of the 
college, explains how the college is supported at present: 

"It draws an annual income of $6,814.50 from the Agricultural 
Land Script Fund established by Congress in 1862, and in addition the 
College has an income of $5,777.77 as interest on proceeds of the sale 
of College lands, Chapter 46, Acts 1898. At present Alcorn College 
draws from the new Morrill bill, approved March 1, 1902, about $25,- 
243.60 per annum. The amount of this latter item varies from time 
to time, as the distribution of the Morrill fund is apportioned to the 
Starkville A. & M. College and Alcorn according to the ratio of the 
two races in the State. The legislature supplements these sums by 
special appropriations when necessary." 

The property of the college according to a recent appraisement 
is valued at $200,000. The campus and farm comprises 900 
acres of land. 

Until 1890 the college had graduated only 46; the first 
graduating class, that of 1884, had a total of 4 ; but the student 
body up to 1890 usually comprised between two and three hun- 
dred negro men. 95 In response to a demand for industrial train- 
ing for negro girls the Board of Trustees and the Legislature in 

"Ency. Miss. History, Vol. I, p. 58. 

"House Journal, 1872, p. 303. 

"U. S. Statutes, Vol. 12, Ch. 130, p. 503. 

"Ency. Miss. History, Vol. I, p. 59. 

••Miss. Official and Statistical Register, Centenary Volume, 1917, p. 

"Mayes, History of Education in Miss., p. 277. 



1902 made provision for coeducation. Speaking of this feature 

of the work J. L. Rowan, president of the college, says : 96 

"A dormitory was erected and three female teachers were chosen 
to instruct the girls in sewing, cooking, laundering and in nurse train- 
ing. Five hundred girls applied at once to be admitted to the college 
and the institution has greatly prospered with this new departure, and 
the efficiency of the school has been greatly enhanced by thus extend- 
ing its influence in a more vital sense to the colored race." - 

The charter of the college provided that the governor, with the 
consent of the senate, should appoint a president and ten trus- 
tees who should administer the affairs of the institution. The 
college remained under the control of the separate board of 
trustees until by act of the legislature of 1910, 97 amended in 
1912, 98 the single board of trustees was created for the Univer- 
sity and three state colleges one of which is Alcorn College. 

The Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College has devel- 
oped steadily since its establishment; the enrollment has n- 
creased from year to year ; the courses of study have been broad- 
ened, and the negro race has been benefited by the training 
along industrial lines which the establishment of the institution 
has made possible. The state legislature has generously sup- 
ported the institution the total appropriation for 1912 and 1913 
was $55,254.54;" for 1914 and 1915, $79,770.90 ; 100 for 1916 
and 1917, $52,394.76 ; 101 for 1918 and 1919, $57,084.54. 102 

IV. Conclusion 

In concluding this examination of the administration of 
public education in Mississippi, it is well to refer briefly, first, 
to what the results and tendencies of centralized control seem 
to have been, and secondly, to what extent greater centraliza- 
tion might be advisable. 

Public education is unquestionably a matter of state con- 
cern and not merely of local concern; this fact was recognized 

•"Miss. Official and Statistical Register, Centenary Vol., 1917, p. 652. 

"Supra., p. 131, Laws of 1910, Ch. 114, Sec. 2. 

"Supra., p. 180, Laws of 1912, Ch. 169, S. B. No. 200, and Ch. 170, S. 

B. No. 432. 
"Laws 1912, Ch. 15, pp. 18-19, H. B. No. 265. 
100 Laws 1914, Ch. 15, pp. 20-22, H. B. No. 283; Ch. 41, pp. 46-47; Ch. 

72, pp. 66-67. 
1M Laws 1916, Ch. 18, pp. 22-23. 
m Laws 1918, Ch. 12, pp. 18-19. 


-""-"■ n^ 


by the framers of the first constitution of Mississippi in 1817, 1 
endorsed by the framers of the second constitution of the state, 2 
more substantially accepted by the framers of the third state 
constitution, 3 and wholly adopted and enlarged upon by the 
framers of the constitution of 1890,* under which the state is at 
present governed. The system of common schools of the state 
constitute a most important state institution. It is true of Mis- 
sissippi, as of other states, that "unless the common schools * * * 
are adequately supported by means of an income derived from 
some grant or endowment in which the state has only a fiduciary 
interest, the State must provide sufficient resources to maintain 
them." 5 In Mississippi the schools are not adequately sup- 
ported by such means, and consequently the state is called upon 
to obtain ample revenue for operating the public school system 
and the only way of obtaining such revenue is by the exercise 
of the power of taxation. Whether this taxation is in the form 
of a state levy or local levies, which must be authorized by the 
state legislature, is of minor importance; for when the tax h 
"authorized by the state legislature, it is the act of the state, 
provided the levy is for state expenses." 6 Assuming that school 
expenditures are for state purposes, when the state authorizes 
the expenditure of funds for the purposes of education it may 
justly claim the right to a share in the control of the administra- 
tion of the system. In other words, "if the state collects a gen- 
eral tax, it cannot relieve itself of the responsibility for its 
proper application, ' • to quote Dr. R. H. Whitten. 7 It will have 
been noted in the course of this discussion that increased cen- 
tralization of administration has developed in the public school 

'Constitution of 1817, Art. VI, Sec. 16. 

'Constitution of 1832, Art. VII, Sec. 14. 

'Constitution of 1868, Art. VIII, Sec 14. * 

♦Constitution of 1890, Art. 8, Sections 201-213. 

'Centralizing Tendencies in the Administration of Indiana, Col. Univ. 

Studies, Vol. XVII, No. 1, W. A. Rawles, p. 133. 
'Centralizing Tendencies in the Adm. of Indiana, Col. Univ. Studies, 

Vol. XVII, No. 1, p. 134, by W. A. Rawles, citing Cooley, The Law 

of Taxation, 2nd ed., p. 329, and Goodnow, F. J., Municipal Home 

Rule, pp. 51 and 225. 
Tublic Administration in Mass., Col. Univ. Series, Vol. VIII, No. 4, 

p. 38. 




system of Mississippi in reasonable proportion to the increase 
of state aid to the various local school units ; more and more as 
state aid is increased the local units act as agents of the state 
in the matter of public education. 

Under state control the school funds and revenues of Missis- 
sippi have been handled with better results than could possibly 
have been realized without central control. It has been pointed 
out that in the early period of the state under local control 
wasteful and fraudulent management of school funds was very 
generally practiced. 8 Since 1870, when the first State Superin- 
tendent of Education 9 took office, by the efforts of the State 
Superintendent and County Superintendents, who are required 
to report periodically to the State Superintendent, the school 
finances of the state have been more efficiently and honestly 

In the matter of examinations, centralization has brought 
about very gratifying results. Beginning in the early period of 
educational activity in the state with absolutely no method of 
determining the qualification of teachers, which condition ob- 
tained throughout the antebellum period of the state and 
through the greater part of the reconstruction regime, there 
came, as a concomitant of state support, some control of th.e 
certifying of teachers, but the certification was by county of" 
ficials and not by state officials; and the next step was the 
method at present used, i. e., the determination of qualification 
of teachers under the direction of state officers. 

The results of centralization in regard to control over the 
course of study have been encouraging. Progress at first was 
slow ; after 1870 came recommendations from the State Superin- 
tendent of Education to the various communities of the state, 
which resulted in some improvement inasmuch as the recom- 
mendations were occasionally adopted; following the passage 
of the school text-book law in 1890, there resulted some county 
control over the course of study of all county schools; finally, 

•Especially in case of the Sixteenth Section land, the Chickasaw land, 

and the Two and Three per cent funds. 
•Henry R. Pease, 1870-1874. 



statutes were enacted establishing a uniform course of study in 
the public schools for the common school grades, providing for 
uniform text-books, and creating the State Text-book Commis- 
sion. The school system has been improved to a considerable 
degree by the development in unifying courses of study. The 
cost of school books has been materially reduced, while at the 
same time there has been an improvement in the quality of the 

Although under the present law the common schools may 
be discontinued after four months, or after the constitutional 
requirement has been met, more and more as centralization of 
administration increases there develops a tendency toward a 
term of uniform length for the entire state. Sooner or later 
the constitutional requirement for the length of term will doubt- 
less be extended. "While retaining the optional local tax levy as a 
stimulant to local initiative in maintaining superior schools, as 
time goes on it becomes increasingly evident that it is a short- 
sighted policy for the state to fail to provide in every community 
in the state a school term of six to seven months, at least, as an 
irreducible minimum. 

Teachers ' institutes which are held periodically in the vari- 
ous counties of the state are provided for and directed by central 
school authorities, viz., the State Superintendent of Education 
and the State Board of Education. These institutes are second 
only in importance to the training and improvement of the 
teachers of the state to the various teacher training institutions 
of the state. 

When the state legislature decides to enact the proper kind 
of public library law there will follow great improvement in 
this phase of educational work. With no central control, lack 
of efficient local direction, and very inadequate funds, the es- 
tablishment of public libraries over the state as a whole has been 

Compulsory education in Mississippi, as has been noted, is 
in its infancy. When it comes it will be by a development of 
the present tendencies toward centralization in the administra- 
tion of public education in the state. To make the adoption of 


compulsory school attendance dependent upon the electorate of 
the various counties and lesser school units of the state as is done 
by the law passed in 1918, is to effectually nullify the spirit of 
such a law by the terms of the statute itself. 

The study of a state system of public education, is to a very 
great extent, a study of the constitutional and statute laws of 
the state. These laws are the best evidence of the status of public 
education at the various periods of the history of the state. Con- 
sequently, it is necessary to inquire whether the centralization 
of the administration of public education within a given state 
has tended to improve the general character of school legisla- 
tion. In Mississippi the answer to this inquiry is essentially 
positive. Of little less importance than in the field of admin- 
istration, the influence of the State Superintendent of Educa- 
tion, the State Board of Education, and the other central ad- 
ministrative agencies of the State Department of Education 
have exercised a decidedly wholesome influence over school leg- 
islation. 10 

Centralization in the administration of higher educational 
institutions of the state in the nature of things, came simul- 
taneously with the establishment of the state university and col- 
leges. In the case of the establishment of each institution there 
was provided by the charter a board of trustees elected by the 
governor, the governor and the state superintendent of education 
being constituted ex-officio members of each board. The institu- 
tions have always been, in large part, supported by appropria- 
tions made from the general state treasury by act of the legisla- 
ture. Legislative investigating committees have frequently been 
appointed to make inspection of the affairs and management 
of the state university and colleges, and the state auditor 
makes periodic inspections of the accounts of each institution. 
As has been noted, by act of the legislature of 1910, as amend- 
ed in 1912, more centralization was effected in the administra- 
tion of the state higher educational institutions; and since that 

"Note the work of the Educational Commission appointed by act of 
the legislature of 1916; the State Text-Book Commission; the State 
Board of Examiners; and the State Illiteracy Commission. 


time instead of five boards of trustees for the university and 
four state colleges there are two boards, one having control of 
the State University, the State Agricultural and Mechanical 
College (for whites), the Industrial Institute and College, and 
the Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College (for negroes), 
and a separate board having control of the State Normal College. 
It is more economical to have the single board of trustees for the 
four state institutions ; nothing, however, has been accomplished 
under the new organization of the board which will prevent a 
governor from gaining control of the board through appoint- 
ment and thus injecting personal and factional politics into 
the administration of the state university and colleges. There 
has always been a very apparent need of a close articulation 
between the colleges and university on the one hand, and the 
high schools on the other. The higher educational institutions 
and the common schools would both be the beneficiaries, and 
this without necessarily impairing the usefulness of the high 
schools in shaping their work with reference to the needs of the 
great majority of pupils who never go to college. With the 
single board of trustees having the management of the higher 
educational institutions, by the aid of the State Board of Edu- 
cation, it is not too much to expect that greater cooperation 
of the university and colleges, and of these institutions with the 
high schools may be expected in the future. In his biennial re- 
port to the legislature for the scholastic years 1915-1916 and 
1916-1917 the State Superintendent of Education said 11 

I am sorry that at certain times in the past our State Colleges 
have not cooperated in their work as they might have done. They have 
acted more in the nature of jealous rivals than as institutions working 
in a common cause. I am glad to notice, however, that there is now 
developing a spirit of harmony which I hope will be very much en- 
couraged by us all. Not only should there be harmony of action and 
feeling amongst our state institutions, but also between them and our 
private and denominational schools, all working in perfect harmony 
for the good of all the people. 

This cooperation of effort should extend all the way dow r n the line 
bo as to include the teacher of the one-teacher school located in the 
most obscure section of the state. 

"Biennial Report State Supt. Education, 1915-1917, pp 17-18. 


The common school system of Mississippi, has as has been 
noted, made commendable progress since its establishment. With 
many obstacles to overcome, some of which might easily have 
been insurmountable, the state has advanced its system of public 
education during the past fifty years beyond the most sanguine 
hopes of many of the early supporters of the system. The public 
high schools of the cities and larger towns of the state have 
for many years been doing high school work of standard grade, 
some of them even antedating by twenty or thirty years the 
establishment of a public school system in the state; the coun- 
try schools though lagging far behind for some time have during 
recent years, under the inspiration of demonstrated improve- 
ment through consolidation of rural schools and the establish- 
ment of county agricultural high schools, made wonderful im- 
provement and are now in cases too numerous to mention on 
par with the best city and town schools in the state. But in 
spite of the improvement which has been attained, much re- 
mains to be done toward improving the educational system of 
the state. A mere enumeration of some of the things which are 
imperatively needed is all that will be attempted here. 

In order to have a better system of public education in the 
state from which greater returns may be expected it is, first and 
foremost, necessary that the system be more liberally supported. 
It is unquestionably true that the increased returns from a 
greater investment by the state in the public school system 
would overwhelmingly justify the increased expenditure. The 
length of school term should be greater than provided in the 
present constitution of the state, and it should not be left to lo- 
calities of the state to say that the youth of any particular com- 
munity shall have advantage of only four months' schooling a 

The amount of money invested in the school system is di- 
rectly connected with the matter of administration of the vari- 
ous school units. In Mississippi the county is the logical ad- 
ministrative unit for the public school system. The county 
superintendent of education should be at the head of the county 
school unit, but he should be compelled to cooperate to a greater 



extent than is now required with the State Superintendent of 
Education. In the opinion of the writer, the county superin- 
tendent should not be an elected official; he should be selected 
by a board elected by the people of the county, say one from 
each of the five supervisor's districts of the county, which board 
should have authority similar to that now held by boards of 
trustees of city schools. The county superintendent of educa- 
tion is an important county officer and should be placed on a 
par with the other county officers, in the matter of compensa- 
tion and in the allowance of sufficient clerical help. ''The State 
Department of Education," says State Superintendent W. F. 
Bond, "can not make its influence felt in a county except 
through a competent county superintendent." 12 It might be 
added to this statement of the State Superintendent that the 
county school system can not make its influence felt in the coun- 
ty in a proper manner except through a competent county 
superintendent of education. 

Some of the other means of improving the public school 
system of the state which seem paramount, and which have re- 
ceived attention more or less from educators in the state for 
some years, 13 are the better organization and direction of county 
agricultural high schools, the improvement of city and town 
high schools, the establishment of a sufficient number of rural 
high schools in every county in the state, and, to quote State 
Superintendent W. F. Bond, "so directing the education of the 
negro as to make every dollar spent count toward making him 
healthy, honest, and self-supporting." 14 

The higher educational institutions of the state do not suf- 
fer in comparison with the institutions of like character and 
purpose in other states. The earliest of the five state institu- 
tions for higher education, as has been noted, 15 was established 
in 1844, the latest in 1910. 16 The influence of these institutions 
in the state is incalculable. The two greatest needs of the in- 

"Biennial Report 1915-1917, pp. 12-13. 

"Biennial Report, 1915-1917, pp. 12-19, for example. 

"Ibid., p. 18. 

"The State University. 

"The State Normal College. 



stitutions at present seem to be, first, better or rather more sub- 
stantial financial support, and secondly, the removal of political 
influence from the administration of the affairs of the institu- 

In regard to the more substantial financial support of the 
institutions, it is not meant to say that the total amount appro- 
priated to the various institutions should necessarily be greatly 
increased, however desirable that would be. What is meant is 
that the present plan of leaving the matter entirely within the 
hands of the state legislature, which means that biennially they 
have within their power, should they care to exercise it, 
the legal right seriously to impair the usefulness of the institu- 
tions is anything but desirable from an educational standpoint. 
It is a common practice in the administration of state universi- 
ties and colleges in the United States that the institutions are 
supported in whole or in part by a mill tax. 17 The arguments 
advanced for the mill tax are (1) that it permits a fixed policy; 
(2) that revenues keep a proper pace with wealth; (3) that it 
provides staple support in times of financial depression; 
(4) that it prevents undignified lobbying at the legislature by 
college presidents; (5) that it saves time and annoyance to leg- 
islators and prevents "log-rolling" and "wire-pulling;" and that 
it adds to the self-respect of school men. 18 The institutions of 
higher education in Mississippi could well be placed upon the 
mill tax basis at least for the necessary support funds, leaving 
to the legislature the matter of when and to what extent the 
institutions should receive funds for permanent improvements 
and expansion. Numerous precedents may be cited for this 
method of financing state educational institutions, a method 
which is unquestionably better than the practice followed in 
Mississippi at present. 

When it comes to the removal of political influence from the 

"The Virginia Education Commission made a report to the biennial 
session of the General Assembly of 1912 which gave some interest- 
ing data on this subject. See Pub. Adm. in Va., 1912, by F. A. 
Magruder, pp. 76-77, pub. by Johns Hopkins Press. 

"See F. H. Magruder, Public Administration in Virginia, Johns Hop- 
kins Press, 1912, p. 77. 



administration of the affairs of the state educational institu- 
tions of Mississippi, it is not meant to say that there must be 
absolutely no "politics" connected with the affairs of the uni- 
versity and colleges of the state ; for the administration of these 
institutions constitutes an important part of public administra- 
tion in the state, and the very fact that members of the boards 
of trustees are appointed by the chief political officer of the 
state would make any such claim more on the order of doc- 
trlnarianism than of practical public administration. What is 
meant, however, and what is easily within the bounds of prac- 
tical administration is that the boards of trustees should be so 
constituted that no governor within his term of four years 
should be able to interfere with the administration of one of the 
state institutions in order to serve some political wish of him- 
self or of a political faction in the state. As at present or- 
ganized, should the governor care to interfere in the adminis- 
tration of the state university or colleges he has only to wait his 
opportunity when by appointment he has practical control of 
the personnel of the board. A method of selecting trustees could 
easily be worked out whereby this defect in the administration 
of higher educational institutions of the state would be effective- 
ly remedied. 



In no other branch of public administration in Mississippi 
is the change from absolute decentralization to well-ordered cen- 
tralization so marked as in the control over the banking business 
of the state. The entire gamut has been run from utter lack of 
responsible direction and supervision to a system well coordi- 
nated under the direction of officials with power commensurate 
with their duties and responsibilities. A study of the history of 
banking in Mississippi from the earliest beginnings in 1809 to 
the present will indicate that decentralization existed up to 1914 
and that centralization has taken place since that time. 

In 1805 a resolution was passed in the Mississippi Terri- 
torial Assembly asking for the establishment at Natchez of a 
branch of the Bank of the United States. But this was refused 
by the president and directors at a meeting on June the twenty- 
fifth of the same year, and for nearly five years nothing more 
was done. In 1809, however, as a result of agitation which had 
been persistently carried on by the business interests, the ques- 
tion of establishing a bank was taken up by the Territorial 
Assembly. An act was passed December 23, 1809, for the estab- 
lishment of a bank in the city of Natchez to be officially known 
as "A body politic and corporate, by the name and style of the 
President and Directors and Company of the Bank of Missis- 
sippi." The bank was accordingly established December 29, 
1809, with a capital stock of $500,000 in $100 shares. The life 
of the bank was to be until 1834. 1 

By act of the Assembly, February 6, 1818, the name of this 
pioneer bank was changed to The Bank of Mississippi. Steady 
economic development had made it necessary for the bank to 
expand its business. Realizing this the Assembly raised the cap- 
ital stock to $3,000,000, thus making thirty thousand shares 
available, of which the governor was to subscribe, on behalf of 

*Ency. Miss. Hist, Rowland, Vol. I, pp. 181-182; also see A Hist Of 
Banking in All Nations, Sumner, Vol*. I, p. 60-61. 



the state, one for every four subscribed by individuals. 2 The 
governor was to appoint five directors, and the life of the bank 
was to extend to December 31, 1840. In the same sitting the 
Assembly authorized the establishment of a branch bank at 
Woodville and one at Port Gibson. The following unusual 
promise was made to the Bank of Mississippi: ''No other bank 
shall be established by any further law of the state during the 
continuance of the aforesaid corporation, for which the faith of 
the state is hereby given." 3 

This charter and pledge were bitterly criticised by Govern- 
or Poindexter in his message of 1821. He protested on the 
ground that the Assembly had no right to create a monopoly of 
any business within the state ; moreover, he denied the power of 
one assembly to pass measures which would curb the actions 
of subsequent assemblies. But the next few years brought more 
trouble, for the state was becoming hopelessly in debt. By acts 
passed in 1827, 1828, and 1829 the debt was considerably in- 
creased; and when, in 1830, the legislature attempted to have 
the bank make further dangerous expansions, the Bank of Mis- 
sissippi refused. 4 Angered by this refusal the legislature passed 
an act in February, 1830, creating the Planters' Bank of the 
State of Mississippi. In so doing the legislature of 1830 ignored 
the pledge which had been given the Bank of Mississippi in 

The Planters' Bank was to be established at Natchez, with 
a capital stock of $3,000,000, in shares of one hundred dollars 
each, twenty thousand to be subscribed by individuals. The life 
of the corporation was to be until 1855. This point should be 
noted : the bank was authorized to issue paper money of denom- 
inations not under five dollars, without, limit. 5 In November, 
1831, the Planters' Bank was in operation "and prospering be- 
yond our most sanguine expectations," said Governor Brandon. 6 

•A History of Banking in All Nations, Sumner, Vol. I, pp. 60-61. 
*Ency. Miss. History, Rowland, V. I, p. 182. 
4 Ency. Miss. History, Rowland, pp. 181-185. 

•Ibid., V. I, pp. 181-185; also Sumner, History of Banking in All Na- 
tions, Vol. I. 
•Quoted by Dr. Rowland, Ency. Miss. Hist. Vol. I, p. 188. 



The Bank of Mississippi had had an exclusive right to do a 
a banking business in Mississippi for over twenty years, and 
throughout its career it had been successful; but believing that 
the state had chartered a new bank under conditions which 
would possibly, and very probably, lead to wildcat banking, this 
first bank of Mississippi sought to liquidate. By act of the 
legislature, December 19, 1831, the authority was granted and 
the bank soon wound up its business. 

In 1832 branches of the Planters' Bank were established at 
Vicksburg and Rodney. Every month found the state deeper 
in debt; state bonds to the amount of $1,500,000 w T ere sold in 
1833. "The state," says Dr. Rowland, "was now in the throes 
of boundless speculation, and prices were inflated beyond reason 
to correspond to a fictitious valuation of land. ' ' 7 

In his message of January, 1835, Governor Runnels said: 
"On the withdrawal of the branch of the United States Bank 9 
from the state, which must take place during the ensuing year, 
we shall be left with a banking capital of little more than six 
millions of dollars and that chiefly located at Natchez. The net 
proceeds of the state in 1833 was $11,316,000, and might be 
fairly estimated at $15,000,000 in 1834, and it is ridiculous to 
suppose that the state could get along with a banking capital 
of $6,000,000. " 9 

At this time, however, other banks were coming into exist- 
ence. By act of the legislature in 1835 three combination rail- 
road and banking companies were chartered with an aggregate 
capital of $7,000,000. In 1836 nine similar corporations were 
formed with capital ranging from one million to four million 
dollars. 10 It is not at all difficult to see the direction of events 
when the fact is noted that all these corporations issued paper 
money in profusion. 11 

In 1837 the legislature met in special session in response to 

7 Ency. Miss. Hist., Rowland, Vol. I, p. 190. 

"Established at Natchez March 4, 1831. 

•Ency. Miss. Hist. Rowland, Vol. I, p. 190. 

"Hist. Banking in All Nations, Sumner, V. I, Ency. Miss. Hist, Vol. 

I, p. 190. 
u Ency. Miss. Hist, Rowland, Vol. 1, p. 190. 



a call from Governor Lynch. The governor hoped that by some 
curative act matters could be remdied; but with the additional 
impetus which the opening of the Chickasaw lands had given 
to wild speculation it was evident that nothing could be done. 
The great financial crash came in May, 1837, when all the banks 
of the United States suspended specie payment. Many bank 
failures were reported during the latter part of 1837. The 
Union Bank had first been proposed in 1835 ; and now in the 
midst of all this trouble came Governor McNutt's proposal for 
the establishment of such a bank. He worked with indefatigable 
energy to this end and at last succeeded. 

The three bank commissioners who had been elected by the 
legislature in 1837 made their report in 1838. This report gives 
in detail the absurd principles upon which banks were organ- 
ized during this period. In part, the commissioners said: "The 
history of civilization affords no evidence of any device so sim- 
ple and efficient in reducing the country to vassalage as these 
principles of banking." 13 Professor Sumner corroborates this 
statement when he quotes the following article from the July, 
1839, Free Trader: "Against the banking institutions of Mis- 
sissippi we find the voice of their former warmest and most de- 
voted friends becoming loud, indignant, and denunciatory. Ev- 
ery day only increases public imprecations against their un- 
scrupulous swindling. ' ' 14 

Sooner or later a change had to come. Following the report 
of the bank commissioners in January, 1840, the Act of Febru- 
ary, 1840, ended the career of many banks. The Planters' and 
the Agricultural Banks with a few others put their assets in 
trust before the law was passed. 

In 1841 the repudiation by the state of the bonds of the 
Union and Planters' Banks was proposed by Governor McNutt. 
This proposition was not acted upon at the time but in 1853 the 

"Hist. Banking in All Nations, Sumner, V. I, p. 323. This first group 
of bank commissioners had mere advisory powers. Aside from 
making reports on the banking situation in the state they accom- 
plished nothing as an administrative body. 

"Hist. Banking in All Nations, Sumner, Vol. I, p. 323; also Raguet's 
Register, 43, July, 1838; ditto, 379. 




question of paying the bonds was referred to the people at the 
general election. Whether the people thought that, inasmuch 
as they were alleviating the burden of the state, they were act- 
ing on sound principles it is impossible to say. Be this as it 
may the returns from the election showed that the people were 
in favor of repudiation. 

"The opposition to banks," says Mr. R. W. Millsaps, "was 
so great that some of the banks that could have weathered 
through the financial trouble preferred to liquidate." 15 Only 
three banks 16 survived the panic and they had confined them- 
selves to a very restricted business. 

A bank founded on sounder business principles, the Bank 
of Britton and Koontz, was established in 1835 at Natchez, It 
did not issue any paper money, but contented itself in doing a 
brokerage and exchange business immediately after the failure 
of the other banks. It survived both panics and the Civil War 
and continues down to the presen't time. 17 

Of the period just preceding the Civil War nothing can 
serve better to make plain the conditions existing in the bank- 
ing business in the State of Mississippi than the remarks of 
Henry V. Poor quoted by Professor C. H. Brough: 

"The $48,000,000 of loans were never paid; the $23,000,000 of notes 
and deposits were never redeemed. The whole system fell a huge and 
shapeless wreck, leaving the people of the state very much as they came 
into the world. Their condition at the time beggars description. Every- 
body was in debt, without any possible means of payment. Lands be- 
came worthless, for the reason that none had any money to pay for 
them. The only personal property left was slaves, to save which, a 
number of people fled with them from the state, so that the common 
return upon legal process against debtors was in the very abbreviated 
form of G. T. T — gone to Texas — a state which in this way received a 
mighty accession to her population." 18 

15 R. W. Millsaps, Hist. Banking; Quoted in full by Rowland, Ency. 
Miss Hist, Vol. 1, pp. 181-207. 

"Commercial Bank (Yazoo City), Northern Bank (Holly Springs). 
and Bank of Britton & Koontz (Natchez) ; see above for nature of 
business done by last named bank. 

1T Wirt Adams & Co., and Brown, Johnson & Co. were the private 
bankers of Vicksburg before the Civil War; J. & T. Green and Grif- 
fith & Stewart of Jackson. The Columbus Ins. & Bk. Co. (now the 
First National Bank of Columbus) was established in 1852. 

"Poor, H. V., Money and Its Laws, p. 540; Ency. Miss. Hist, Vol. I, 
p. 199. 



In 1876 the constitution was amended to prohibit the pay- 
ment of the bonds of both the Union and Planters' Banks and 
this prohibition is continued in the constitution of 1890. 19 

A law was passed in 1888 placing all the banks of the state 

Neither the law of 1888 nor the supplementary law of 1892 

under inspection. 20 This law, supplemented by the banking 
law of 1892, 21 remained in force until the act of March 9, 1914. 

brought any real supervision of banking. Under the provisions 
of the law of 1888 all state banks were required to make quar- 
terly reports to the Auditor, and the Auditor was given authori- 
ty to make requisition upon all banking institutions for such re- 
ports, but beyond this meagre means of control the banks re- 
mained practically free of any direction from a governmental 

In 1888 thirty state banks were operating in the state of 
Mississippi with an aggregate capital of $1,660,000 and deposits 
of $4,593,000. In 1894 there were sixty-three, with an aggre- 
gate capital of $3,278,000 and deposits of $5,000,000. 22 Individ- 
ual deposits in the National Banks in Mississippi increased 
from June 30, 1896 to October 31, 1904, 286 per cent. For the 
same period the deposits in state and private banks increased 
306 per cent. 23 

Since 1900 the banking business in Mississippi has grown 
by leaps and bounds. The following comparative statement 
shows the growth of state banks in Mississippi from 1890 to 
1918. The figures are taken from the report of the state auditor 
made at the close of business December 27, 1913, and from the 
report of the Board of Bank Examiners made at the close of 
business June 29, 1918. 

"Repudiation Resolution, Const. 1890, Sec. 258, Art. XIV. See Vol. IV, 
pp. 493-497, Publications of Miss. Historical Society for a concise 
history of the Planters' Bank Bonds, and the Union Bank Bonds 
of the State of Miss., by Judge J. A. P. Campbell. 

"Acts, 1888, Ch. 11, Sees: 1, 2, 3, 4. 

M Acts, 1892, Chapters 150-166, inclusive. 
. K Bank Commissioners' Reports, 1888, 1894. 

"Quoted from the report of the Secretary of Agriculture in Ency. 
Miss. Hist, Vol. I, p. 206. Of the Secy. Agr. Report, Vol. I, p. 270. 


No. of 







































































































Note: (1) The decline of six and a quarter million dollars in deposits 
from the time of the report in 1907 (March 29th) to the 
report of 1908 (June 2nd). 

(2) While an unprecedented number of banks failed between 
1907 and 1914 nearly an equal number of new banks were 
chartered, making the total number of banks remain but lit- 
tle changed during this period. 


In his address at the seventeenth annual session of the State 
Bankers' Association, at Vicksburg in 1905, Auditor T. M. 
Henry quoted the observation of the New York Financier of 
April, same year, 

"The remarkable growth of the banking industry in Mississippi is 
an ever-increasing source of wonder * * * * In the more conserv- 
ative circles the assertion is being frequently made that the banking 
business is being overdone, and that a reaction will follow/' but, con- 
tinues the observation, "such does not appear to be the case from the 
financial statements now being tabulated by the auditor. All of these 
banks are in splendid financial shape, carrying large deposits and good 
volumes of well-secured loans." 24 

And Dr. Rowland writing in 1907 makes the following 
statement : ' ' With one exception there has been no bank failure 
in Mississippi for the past ten or twelve years, and the total for 
the past twenty-five years has been very small." 25 

But beginning in 1908 the reaction spoken of in the New 
York Financier began and — what is worse — continued with an 
ever-increasing danger to the equilibrium of all forms of business 
throughout the state. Indeed at the beginning of the year 1914 
the astounding number of bank failures might be spoken of as 
"a source of ever-increasing wonder." From 1907 to 1914 
there were no less than one hundred bank failures in the State 
of Mississippi. 26 As compared with this amazing number of 
failures in Mississippi, it is of interest to note the number of 
failures in other states in which conditions industrially, socially, 
and politically are similar to those in Mississippi. During this 
same period in Georgia there were only six bank failures; in 
Louisiana, eighteen; in North Carolina, eighteen, five of which 
made arrangements and re-opened at once; in South Carolina, 
.eleven ; in Virginia, fifteen ; in Oklahoma, thirty-nine ; in Texas, 
eight ; and in Florida, four, the largest of which paid its deposi- 
tors in full with interest. 

Beginning in 1908 each year showed more and more agita- 
tion throughout the state in favor of strict legislation regulat- 

,4 Proceedings Bankers' Assn. 1905; quoted more fully Ency. Miss. 

History, Vol. 1, p. 207. 
*See Auditor's Reports; also 1915 Report Banking Department. 
"Ency. Miss. Hist., V. I, p. 207. 



ing banks, and a great deal of this agitation came from depos- 
itors who had lost money in defunct banks. They wanted a 
law that would insure deposits. The great number of bank 
failures, with their accompanying disasters, showed clearly the 
need of reform in the banking system. Some interest had been 
taken in the matter by a few members of the legislature, but 
they had never been numerous enough to secure action. After 
1908, however, with the ever increasing frequency of bank fail- 
ures in different sections of the state, interest both in and out of 
the legislature was aroused. Frequent editorials appeared in 
the papers; bankers and other business men were becoming 
keenly interested in the serious situation; and, along with this 
interest of bankers, business men, and the public generally, more 
members of the legislature were expressing themselves in favor 
of drastic laws regulating the business of banking. Realizing 
that some reform was undoubtedly necessary, members of the 
legislature and others began to study the conditions in order to 
try to discover some of the causes and, if possible, to find a rem- 
edy. No general reason could be assigned for the great num- 
ber of bank failures. In one case the cause would be due to 
business depression in a particular section of the state; in an- 
other, to unwise business methods of the bank officials; in an- 
other, to wildcat banking of the worst type; and in a few in- 
stances to looting by some official of the bank. But one thing 
was quite apparent: no such thing as real centralized supervi- 
sion existed. The State Banking Department had neither the 
authority nor the administrative machinery necessary to the 
proper supervision of the banking business of the state. 

Before the meeting of the legislature in January 1914, much 
had been said of the guaranty of deposits system then existing 
in a few states. The laws of Oklahoma 27 and of Texas 28 es- 
pecially were frequently referred to as being, in many respects, 
applicable to the conditions in Mississippi. There was growing 
agitation for reform during the few months that preceded the 

"Plan which went into effect Feb. 14, 1908; modified in 1909; amend- 
ed in 1913. 
a Act of Aug. 9, 1909; guaranty clause in effect Jan. 1, 1910. 





meeting of the legislature. During January and February 
while the legislature was in session fourteen state banks failed 
involving an aggregate loss of no less than three hundred 
thousand dollars to depositors. It was quite evident that the 
time was ripe for legislation. Early in this session the proposi- 
tion for a law regulating banking was received, therefore, with 
much attention; a bill was soon formulated and started on its 
journey. As is always the case in such matters, the bill was 
beset with many formidable obstacles, but a law was enacted, 
which, with a few amendments passed in 1916 and 1918, stands 
at the present time. 

Before taking up those details of the 1914 law which per- 
tain to the operation of the guaranty system it will be well to 
consider that part of the law which provides the means neces- 
sary for the operation of the system. The part of the law which 
treats of the selection of the administrative officers is not only 
interesting, but it is also unique in many respects. We might 
call it a "civil service elective" combination plan. The idea of 
centralization is seen throughout the plan. 

Section 2 of the Act provides: "There shall be a board of 
bank examiners consisting of three members, who shall choose 
among themselves a chairman, 29 and a majority of whom may 
for all purposes act for the board, and who shall be elected, one 
by and from each supreme court district at the time and in the 
manner that state officers are elected, and whose term of office 
shall be for four years and until their successors shall qualify. ' ' 
In paragraph one of Section 3 there is this provision: "No per- 
son shall be eligible to become a bank examiner who is not a 
qualified elector; thirty years of age; a practical accountant; 
who does not thoroughly understand the theory and practise of 
banking; who has been manager or otherwise in control of any 
banking institution or other business enterprise which has failed 
or liquidated its debts below par during such management, or 

"Amended 1918 Laws Ch. 165, Sec. 2, by the provisions of which the 
Chairman is selected by the bank commissioners from the three 
bank examiners, and the Chairman is made executive head of the 
bank examiners. 



who has not secured a license to become a candidate for said of- 
fice as hereinbefore provided. No person while occupying the 
position of bank examiner shall be employed by or have interest 
in any bank or banking business within the state, and any viola- 
tion of this provision shall, ipso facto, make vacant the office." 
The restriction that is thus imposed upon the candidates for the 
position of bank examiners is sufficient to insure the limitation 
of their number. 

It is obligatory upon all bank examiners to take the oath of 
office and to provide for bond in some surety company of the 
state to the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars as an as- 
surance for the faithful and impartial discharge of the duties 
connected with the office. 30 

Section 4 of the Act provides for a board of bank commis- 
sioners, consisting of three members, whose duty it is to ex- 
amine candidates for bank examiners. The commissioners are 
appointed as follows : one, a successful banker and business man, 
to be appointed by the governor; one, an experienced lawyer, 
to be appointed by the attorney general; the last, an experi- 
enced accountant, to be appointed by the auditor; they must 
be not less than thirty years old and qualified electors. Their 
term of office is four years. In case a vacancy should occur 
in the board of bank commissioners, by reason of resignation or 
otherwise, the appointment shall be made by the officer who 
had nominated the former commissioner. 

The examinations of the candidates for bank examiners are 
held by the board of bank commissioners in the office of the 
banking department on the first Monday in March preceding 
the general election in November. 31 If any candidate wishes 
to take the examination at any other time he must make an ap- 
plication and pay fifty dollars to the State Treasurer for the 
credit of the banking fund ; it is then the duty of the bank com- 
missioners to hold the special examination within thirty days 
following the receipt of said application. At the end of this 
special examination a license may be granted as in regular ex- 

"Paragraph 2, Section 3 of the act. 
sl Sec. 4, Par. 2 and 3 of the Act. 



aminations, viz., the right to become a candidate for election to 
the office of bank examiner. 32 

The members of the board of bank commissioners receive a 
per diem of five dollars and are allowed their actual expenses 
while in the discharge of their duties. This amount is paid out 
of the banking fund. 33 

We have seen that every person before being eligible to 
hold the position of bank examiner must be given a license or 
certificate by the board of bank commissioners. The bank com- 
missioners, as before said, hold the examinations — which are al- 
ways written — in the office of the banking department on the 
following subjects : accounting, the theory and practise of bank- 
ing, the banking laws of the State of Mississippi, and the federal 
banking laws. "To each person who attains a grade of sev- 
enty-five per cent or more on the examination and who fur- 
nishes satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and the 
possession of all the other qualifications set out in the Act, the 
examining board issues a license to become a candidate for 
state bank examiner, which license is good for four years." 34 

The law makes it obligatory upon the bank commissioners 
that the examinations, questions, answers and statements of all 
applicants be filed in the banking department, all such data be- 
ing opened to public inspection. It is further provided that 
all examination questions shall be kept strictly secret until the 
examination is held. There is a penalty, amounting to a fine 
of not over $500 and removal from office in case any information 
is given by any commissioner or employee of the banking de- 
partment. 35 

When a vacancy occurs in the board of bank examiners it 
is provided that the bank commissioners shall fill the said va- 
cancy by competitive examination of applicants residing in the 
supreme court district in which the retiring examiner was elect- 

a Sec. 4, Par. 4 of the Act. 
"Sec. 4, Par. 5 of the Act 
"Sec. 5, Par. 1, Act. 
"Sec 5, Par. 1, Act 



ed. The examination is held on the second Monday following 
the date of the vacancy. 36 

It has been asked, What would happen if a sufficient num- 
ber of applicants should fail to qualify ? On this point the law 
answers as follows: "If for any reason, any regular or special 
examination is not held at the time provided in this Act, or if at 
any regular or special examination a sufficient number of ap- 
plicants fail to qualify for the office of bank examiner, then it 
shall be the duty of the board of bank examiners to hold on 
every tenth day thereafter a special examination until the re- 
quired number of applicants shall qualify." 37 

Any bank examiner may be removed from office by the 
board of bank commissioners. 38 The salary of the examiners 
is $3,600 39 a year with an allowance for expenses while travel- 
ing on official duty. 

Concerning the duties of bank examiners, briefly, the law 
provides that ' ' it shall be the duty of the bank examiners to ap- 
portion the work among themselves of examining banks, in such 
a manner that each bank shall be examined twice a year, and 
oftener if necessary, at irregular intervals and without prior 
notice." 40 It is further provided that no examiner shall ex- 
amine any one bank twice in succession. 

For the maintenance of the banking department each bank 
subject to the provisions of the Act — that is, every state and 
private bank — is assessed for each year one-fortieth of one per 
cent of its total assets. 41 

The part of the law of 1914 which contained the guaranty 
of deposits provision went into effect May 15, 1915. 42 As the 
guaranty system did not become mandatory until that date, a 

M Sec. 5, Par. 3, Act. 

8T Sec. 5, Par. 4, Act. 

w For details see Sec. 6, Par. 1 of the Act. 

M By Sec. 6, Par. 1, Law of 1914 the salary of bank examiners was 
$3,000 a year; made $3,600 by Sec. 7, Ch. 165, Law of 1918, upon 
recommendation of board of bank commissioners. 

^See Sec. 10 of the act for further provisions, as, e. g., the question 
of assistants when needed. 

"Sec. 23 of the act. 

"Sees. 33 and 34 of the Act. 


provision of the law allowed any bank that had complied with 
the state laws to participate in the benefits of the guaranty fund 
before that time, that is, any time after March 9, 1914, the time 
of the passage of the act and from which time all provisions of 
the law, except the guaranty clauses, went into effect. 

Each bank entitled to the certificate of guaranty must, be- 
fore receiving it from the bank examiner, "deposit, and at all 
times maintain with the state treasurer (subject to the order of 
bank examiners when countersigned by the auditor of the state) 
United States bonds, Mississippi State bonds, the bonds of any 
levee district, or the bonds of any county, township or municipal 
bonds within the State of Mississippi, to the amount of $500 for 
every $100,000 or fraction thereof of its average deposits eligi- 
ble to the guarantee (less its capital and surplus) as shown by 
its last four published statements, provided that each bank shall 
deposit not less than $500/ ' 43 As a further protection it is re- 
quired that all bonds offered by the banks shall bear the certifi- 
cate of the attorney general of the State of Mississippi, stating 
that, in his opinion, the bonds have been legilly issued. It is 
also provided that the bonds, or cash in lieu thereof, shall not be 
charged out of the assets of the bank, but shall be carried in its 
assets under a heading "guaranty fund with state treasurer,'' 
until such time as the bank shall default in payment of assess- 
ments provided for by the guaranty clause of the Act. 44 

In addition to the above requirement each bank must pay 
in cash an amount equal to one-twentieth of one per cent of aver- 
age deposits eligible to guaranty, less its capital and surplus; 
provided, however, that the minimum assessments required from 
any bank be $20. 45 The money accruing from this source is 
"credited to the bank depositors' guaranty fund with the state 
treasurer, subject to the order of the board of bank examiners. 
This fund (including the aforesaid $500 bond or money pledge) 46 

4 *Sec. 34 of the Act. 


'This assessment is not made on new banks formed by the reor- 
ganization or consolidation of banks which have previously com- 
plied with the terms of the act. 

"See above. 



is for the purpose of paying at once, the depositors of banks de- 
clared insolvent by the board of bank examiners, or of banks 
that fail ; the payments to be made under the direction and con- 
trol of the board of bank examiners. All payments made to 
the depositors of banks under the provisions of the guaranty 
act are to be repaid (as far as the assets will go) out of the as- 
sets of any bank whose depositors are paid out of the guaranty 
fund. 47 It is further stipulated in the act, that such payments 
shall be a first lien on the assets of such bank. 48 

The board of bank examiners are to make during the month 
of January of each year these assessments of one-twentieth of 
one per cent of the average guaranteed deposits, less capital and 
surplus, of each bank (the minimum assessment to be $20) un- 
til the cash accumulated and placed to the credit of the bank 
depositors' guaranty fund shall be approximately $500,000 49 
above the cash deposited in lieu of bonds; only then, shall such 
assessment be discontinued ; but should the fund become depleted 
it becomes the duty of the board of bank examiners to make 
such additional assessments from time to time as may become 
necessary to maintain the said $500,000 (approximately). It is 
provided, however, that not more than five such assessments of 
one-twentieth of one per cent each shall be made in any one cal- 
endar year. 50 

As to the keeping of the depositors' guaranty fund the law 
says, "The treasurer of the State of Mississippi shall hold this 
fund in the State depository banks, as provided by law govern- 
ing other state funds subject to the order of the board of bank 
examiners, to be countersigned by the auditor of the state, for 
the payment of depositors of failed guaranteed banks, as here- 
inafter provided. The state treasurer shall credit this fund 
quarterly with its proportional share of interest received from 
state funds computed at the minimum rate of interest provided 

"Sec. 34 of the Act. 


"Recommended that Sec. 35 Law of 1914 be amended so as to require 

that the guaranty fund be built up to $1,000,000 instead of $500,000. 

See p. 8, Biennial Rpt. Banking Dept, State of Miss., Jan. 1, 1918. 
"Sec. 35 of the Act. 


by law upon the average daily balance of said fund." 51 

.When a bank is found insolvent the bank examiner takes 
charge of such bank, as provided by law, and proceeds to wind 
up its affairs. It becomes his duty at the very earliest possible 
moment to issue to each depositor a certificate bearing six 
per cent interest per annum, upon which dividends are entered 
when paid, except where a contract rate exists on 'the deposit, 
in which case the certificate bears interest at the contract rate. 52 
It is provided further that ''after the officer in charge of the 
bank shall have realized upon the assets of such bank and ex- 
hausted the double liability 53 of stockholders, and shall have paid 
all funds so collected in dividends to the creditors, he shall cer- 
tify all balances due on guaranteed deposits (if any exist)' to 
the board of bank examiners, who shall then, upon his approval 
of such certificates, draw check upon the state treasurer, to be 
countersigned by the auditor of the state, payable out of the 
bank depositors' guaranty fund in favor of each depositor for 
the balance due on such proof of claim as hereinafter provid- 
ed. ' ,54 If at any time the available funds in the bank deposi- 
tors ' guaranty fund is not sufficient to pay all guaranteed de- 
posits of any failed bank, the five assessments provided for 55 
having been made, the board is authorized to pay depositors pro 
rata, and the remainder is paid when the next assessment is 
available. Whenever the board of bank examiners pay any divi- 
dend to the depositors of any failed bank out of the bank de- 
positors' guaranty fund, then all claims and rights of action of 
such depositors reverts to the board of bank examiners for the 
benefit of the bank depositors' guaranty fund, until the said 
fund is fully reimbursed for payments made on account of such 
failed bank, with interest thereon at three per cent per annum. 56 
There is a penalty imposed upon, any bank that fails to re- 
mit the amount of its assessment within thirty days after receiv- 

5, Sec. 35, Act of 1914. 
°Sec. 36, act of 1914. 
M Sec. 59, act of 1914. 
"Sec. 36, law of 1914. 
M Sec. 35. 
"Sec. 35. 


ing the notice of such assessment from the board of bank exam- 
iners. The penalty is sufficiently great to discourage any dila- 
tory practice by the banks. 57 

The law itself defines " guaranteed deposits." Section 38 
provides: "All deposits not otherwise secured shall be guaran- 
teed by this Act. The guarantee as provided for in this act 
shall not apply to a bank's obligation as indorser upon bills dis- 
counted, nor to bills payable, nor to money borrowed from its 
correspondents or others, nor to deposits bearing a greater rate 
of interest than four per cent per annum. Each bank shall certify 
under oath to the board of bank examiners at the date of each 
called statement the amount of money it has on deposit not eligi- 
ble to guaranty under the provisions of this act, and in assessing 
such bank this amount shall be deducted from the total de- 
posits. ' ' 

The rate of interest which banks are permitted to pay de- 
positors, and the penalty for the violation of this mandate are 
provided for in the law. 58 

When a solvent guaranteed bank wishes to retire from 
business, its bond or money pledge will not be surrendered by 
the state treasurer until depositors and all assessments have been 
paid in full. Furthermore, any assessments that may remain 
in the bank depositors ' guaranty fund, will never be returned to 
the retiring bank. 59 

Section 43 of the act makes it unlawful for any bank ■ ' to re- 
ceive deposits continuously for six months in excess of ten times 
its paid-up capital and surplus, except savings banks." A 
fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 is the penalty 
for the violation of this provision. 

It is not surprising that at first the great majority of bank- 
ers protested energetically against the provision concerning the 
guaranty of deposits. They considered it as an unwarranted 
interference, and their reason was very obvious. Hitherto, 
the banker gave a certain interest to the depositors, but his re- 

M Sec. 37, act of 1914. 
"Sec. 39, act of 1914. 
w Sec. 40, Act of 1914. 



sponsibility did not go farther ; thereafter he could use the funds 
as he pleased and be happy if risky speculations could make him 
a rich man in a very short time. In truth, the bank period up 
to 1915 might be better known as the golden age of speculators. 
This "laissez faire" policy was favorable only to the bankers, 
and the protection given to the public by the 1914 law appeared 
to the banker as an attack against his natural rights. Assert- 
ing that the strict regulations of the new law reduced him to 
the level of a government employee, he accused the law of doing 
away with initiative, the necessary incentive to serious work. 

Many bankers, alive to the opinion entertained by the gen- 
eral public, were ready to welcome some few restrictions on the 
banking business. They were ready to do away with abuses, 
but the guaranty system seemed altogether too drastic for them, 
and they attempted to explain that it would lead to impossible 
conditions in the banking business. The objections of many 
bankers ran something like this : ' ' Deposits, in a badly managed 
bank, will be protected by the good banks, so that skill, honesty, 
and care, will pay for incapacity or even for dishonesty. Under 
the old system the great point for the depositors was to insure 
the safety of their deposits; guaranteeing deposits impairs that 
protection against competition which a successful established 
bank has by reason of its reputation and good will. Under 
the proposed system the depositors chief interest will be loans 
or interest rates; this runs directly against the interest of the 
banks. Under the old system, the surplus of a bank was not 
only a special attraction, but also one of the working bases of 
the banking system ; under the new system, the surplus would 
be useless. Moreover, the lack of freedom which changes a 
banker into a subordinate official, will drive from the banking 
corporations the most energetic and enterprising men." The 
law, therefore, according to the banking class would weaken the 
entire system. 

Starting from the chartering of the first bank in 1809, we 
may group the phases of the banking business in Mississippi in- 
to four distinct periods: (1) The period from 1809 to 1888, or 
the strictly M laissez faire" period; (2) The progressive period 


from 1888 to 1908, with very little administrative supervision 
by state officials; (3) The downward period from 1908 to 1914, 
with the astounding number of bank failures, and still no ef- 
fective means of control by a state administrative agency; and 
(4) The prosperous period from 1914 to 1918, the time of this 
writing, the period during which there has been a high degree 
of centralization and efficiency of supervision and control by a 
state administrative board. 60 

There remains now to be discussed the success which has 
been attained in the banking business of the state under the law 
of 1914, amended in a few minor respects by laws of 1916 and 

In the biennial report of the Banking Department to the 
State Legislature, January 1, 1918, is found the following state- 
ment: "At the outset we want to reiterate a statement made to 
your honorable body in our first annual report and that is that 
the Banking Act of 1914 is a splendid piece of legislation, and 
has stood the most crucial test and criticisms during the four 
years it has been in practical operation." The law of 1914 
has been found successful to the extent that it has been found 
necessary to make only a few changes in the original act. In 
1916 the amendments were of a supplementary nature, viz., fix- 
ing a penalty for false statement by any officials of state banks, 62 
defining what constitutes perjury on the part of bank officials, 63 
and making punishable "the giving of checks, drafts or orders 
on any bank or other depository, wherein the person so giving 
such check, draft or order shall not have sufficient funds, or a 
credit for the payment of the same. ' ,64 

In the 1918 session of the legislature two recommendations 

eo Four periods of the hi?tory of banking as given by Charles Hillman 
Brough in 1900: (1) Sound banking and secure issues (1809-1830); 
(2) State banking and shin plasters (1830-1842); (3) Brokerage 
and bankruptcy (1842-18G5); (4) Private and national banking 
and cautious conservation (1865- ). See Miss. Hist. Society, 
Vol. Ill, p. 317. 

"Biennial Report, Banking Dept., Jan. 1, 1918, p. 3. 

e Secs. 2, 3, Laws of 1916, approved April 8, 1916. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4. 

M Sea 1, Laws of 1916, approved Feb. 12, 1916. 


of the Banking Department suggested in the interest of greater 
efficiency of administration were enacted into law. Thy had 
to do with, first, the Chairman of the Board of Bank Examiners, 
and secondly, the employment of attorneys by the board of bank 
examiners. As to the first, under the law of 1914 the duties of 
the Chairman of the Board of Bank Examiners were not fully 
defined or prescribed. The provsion of the 1914 law 65 was so 
amended that "the Board of Bank Commissioners shall elect 
one of the three Bank Examiners as Chairman of the Board of 
Bank Examiners, whose duties shall be to preside at all meetings 
of the Board and to have general supervision of the office, giv- 
ing same the necessary time and attention so that all business 
of the department shall be dispatched with promptness and deci- 
sion. ' ,66 And as to the employment of attorneys, the Examin- 
ers found in the progress of their work that it sometimes became 
their duty, in the liquidation of insolvent banks especially, to 
prosecute criminally persons who had been instrumental in 
wrecking these banks, and their experience was that the District 
and State attorneys were so overcrowded with work that it was 
necessary to employ additional legal assistance in the prosecution 
of these cases. There was no fund or provision for such purpose 
under the law of 1914, and in most instances the assistance they 
received was offered by attorneys through friendship for the 
Board, and through their desire to see the banking law properly 
and fully executed. 67 The amendment of 1918 provides for at- 
torney's fees where such prosecution and other advice is neces- 
sary. 68 The other amendments were of such a nature as not to 
demand attention in this discussion. 69 

Since the guaranty law has been in effect only five banks 

"Sec. 2, Banking Law of 1914. Formerly' the three Bank Examiners 
named one of their number as chairman. As now selected, the 
Chairman is freer in exercising administrative powers. 

•"Biennial Report, Banking Dept., Jan. 1, 1918, p. 7; laws of 1918, 
sec. 2, ch. 165, p. 177. 

"Biennial Report, Banking Dept, Jan. 1, 1918, p. 6. 

"Laws of 1918, sec. 70, ch. 165, p. 181. 

"Laws of 1918, ch. 153, p. 157; ch. 165, pp. 176-181, inclusive; ch. 189, 
sec. 4, p. 211; ch. 247, pp. 303-305, inclusive; ch. 248, p. 306. 



have failed. 70 According to the Bank Examiner's statement, 
most of these were small institutions and their failure was not 
due to any fault of the law, but was caused by internal divisions 
or dissensions or other troubles of that nature. 71 

On account of the small assessment, as the law provides, on 
bank deposits the Guaranty Fund has been slow in building up, 
and on October 1, 1918, this fund, in round numbers, amounted 
to $178,000. This fund has been accumulated by regular assess- 
ments for the last three years, with only three special assess- 
ments of one-twentieth of one per cent, making a total of one 
tenth of one per cent assessment each year. While the law per- 
mits the Board of Bank Examiners to make five assessments of 
one-twentieth of one per cent a year, it has not been necessary to 
take advantage of all these assessments. At the time of this 
writing (November 1918) the liquidation of the five banks that 
have been forced to close their doors has not been completed. 
Some of the failures were bad and the resources of the banks 
will be inadequate to take care of the depositors. There will be 
in all probability, 72 a deficit of about $300,000 between the 
amount realized on the assets of the five banks and the liability 
to depositors. The law provides for five additional assessments 
each year when necessary to take care of any depletion of the 
guaranty fund. It will possibly be another twelve months be- 
fore the guaranty fund will be drawn upon, or before the Bank 
Examiners Board will know definitely what amount the deficit 
will reach; 73 in the meantime the regular annual assessment of 
one twentieth of one per cent will be made as in the past four 
years, and at the proper time the additional assessment, as per- 
mitted by law, will be made and all depositors of the five defunct 
banks, will receive the full amount of their deposits. 

As provided by law, certificates were issued to all deposi- 

"Covington County Bank (Collins) Feby. 1, 1916; Bank of Commerce 
(Gulfport) Dec. 14, 1916; Bank of Newton (Newton) Feb. 16, 1916; 
Bank of Sallis (Sallis) May 23. 1917; Peoples Bank (Wiggins) 
Feb. 18, 1916. 

"Biennial Report, Jan. 1, 1918, p. 3. 

"Letter from Chairman Bank Examiners Board, Oct. 5, 1918. 

"Biennial Report, Bank Dept., Jan. 1, 1918, p. 5. 



tors of the five defunct banks. As stated by the Bank Examiners 
Board "to handle successfully the estate of a defunct bank is 
hard and tedious work ; ' ,74 and to try to unduly rush such work 
through would mean to make many sacrifices and thereby draw 
more heavily upon the guaranty fund in the final settlement 
with depositors. So we find on January 1, 1918, three of the 
five defunct banks "percentage of credits paid" was zero; one, 
ten per cent, and one sixty per cent. But the depositors have 
not had to wait to receive the amount of their deposits through- 
out this rather extended period. Quoting Mr. J. A. Bandi, 75 
President Mississippi Bankers Association for 1917, on this sub- 
ject : ■ ' Great credit is due to the several examiners for the heroic 
efforts they have put forth in having the certificates issued to 
depositors, taken up and cashed in full by other banks. This 
has operated greatly to the benefit of depositors and relieved in 
several communities what might have otherwise been heavy dis- 
tress and embarrassment with many people of small means." 

It is the statement of the Chairman of the Board of Bank 
Examiners, 76 that in making the first examination and deciding 
between the banks that were eligible to be guaranteed and those 
that were not, out of a desire to do no injustice, perhaps some 
degree of leniency was shown and possibly there were several 
banks admitted to the guaranty which ought to have been liqui- 
dated. This very probably accounts for some of these five fail- 

There seems to be no doubt, after four years trial, that the 
banks, who really pay the bill, are satisfied with the results 
which have been obtained under the present banking law. The 
Bank Examiners Board states that fully ninety per cent of the 
banks have not only become thoroughly reconciled to the new 
system, but that they give it their hearty support, although prac- 
tically all of the state banks fought the law, especially the guar- 
anty of deposits feature, when it was proposed in the state leg- 
islature. 77 

"Ibid., p. 4. 

"Journal of the Miss. Bankers Association, May 1917, p. 25. 

T, J. S. Love, statement in letter, Oct. 8, 1918. 



Some of the banks are inclined to look upon the assess- 
ments in the light of a premium on an insurance policy protect- 
ing the depositors against loss, and the banks as a business prop- 
osition welcome the privilege of paying a premium on a policy 
averaging one tenth of one per cent on their eligible deposits a 
year to get the benefit of advertising that their deposits are 
fully protected against loss in the event of a bank failure.- 

At the twenty-seventh annual convention of the Mississippi 
Bankers Association, held in Jackson, Mississippi, May 1915, 
Mr. Henry Hart, president of the Association, made the follow- 
ing statement regarding the new banking law: "While there 
were some features of the law when the bill was under discus- 
sion, which I, with others of this association, thought were bad 
and undesirable, I think, upon the whole, that the law as it is 
today, and as it is being enforced, is undoubtedly to the best in- 
terest of all — the banker and the depositor." 78 And in May 
1917, after three years under the new system, we have the fol- 
lowing statement from Mr. J. A. Bandi, president of the First 
National Bank of Gulfport, and president of the State Bankers 
Association: "Every one admits the law is incomplete, but it is 
most certain that no other legislation passed in Mississippi for 
many years has cleared away quite as much fog as the new bank- 
ing law. In some respects this measure is more drastic and far 
reaching than that governing the National Banks, and we fre- 
quently find a hesitancy on the part of business men to serve as 
directors on account of its rigid requirements. Not a bad 
feature to be sure * * * ," 79 

The personnel of the Board of Bank Examiners is entirely 
satisfactory to all concerned: the banks, the bank commission- 
ers, the legislature, and the depositors. The elective system, so 
strongly opposed by many bankers when the law was before the 
legislature, 80 has justified itself by its results so far; the civil 
service feature of the elective plan with the other restrictions 

"Memphis Commercial Appeal, May 4, 1915. 

"Journal of Miss. Bank Association, May 1917, p. 25. 

"When the measure was before the legislature some bankers proposed 
that the State Bank Assoc, name a number of bankers from which 
the Bank Commissioners would appoint three Examiners. 


placed by law upon would-be candidates for Bank Examiner, in 
the opinion of most of those most directly interested, will assure 
in the future a well-qualified personnel for the Board of Bank 
Examiners. 81 

It was claimed by the advocates of the new banking law that 
it would bring about greater confidence in the state banks and 
deposits would be greatly increased. In the report of the Bank 
Examiners January 1, 1918, it is stated that "as time goes on 
greater confidence is felt in our State Banks and their manage- 
ment and supervision, which is better indicated by the splendid 
increase in deposits during the past three years. In December, 
1915, there were 281 State Banks doing business in Mississippi 
with a total deposit of $54,936,519.54. In December, 1917, 
there were 285 State Banks in Mississippi with a total deposit of 
$107,375,767.68. 82 This wonderful increase in deposits can "be 
attributed largely to the new Banking Law and the increased 
confidence of the people in the banks and bankers throughout 
the State of Mississippi, which has induced money to come from 
its hiding and be placed on deposit in our State Banks, thereby 
furnishing resources which are being used in building up and 
developing these particular communities. ' ' Notwithstanding 
the fact that the prosperous conditions generally in the state 
accounts for a part of the 1917 increase in deposits, the renewed 
confidence of depositors resulting from the new law has unques- 
tionably had much to do with this increase in deposits. Accord- 
ing to a statement made February 21, 1919, by J. S. Love, Chair- 
man of the State Board of Bank Examiners, the total of all de- 
posits in state banks of Mississippi at that time aggregated 
$130,907,490.04, as compared with $108,907,490.04 on Decem- 
ber 31, 1917— an increase of $13,203,953.98 for the year. This 
increase takes on added interest considering the heavy calls 
made on state banks and their depositors by the government 

8, At present, E. F. Anderson, First District; J. S. Love (Chairman), 
Second District; S. S. Harris, Third District; H. Knox Waller, As- 
sistant Examiner. 

"The discrepancy between the amounts here and as given in the ta- 
ble, supra, p. 163, is explained by the different in dates. The 
figures in the table are of June; the deposits in December, after 
the sale of the year's farm products, would naturally be greater. 


during the year 1918. Mr. Love said "it was especially in- 
teresting to note the marked increase of deposits in state banks 
in Mississippi since the banking law has been in operation. The 
total deposits of the state banks of Mississippi on June 30, 1914, 
was $48,470,352.05. They are now (February, 1919) $130,- 
907,490.04, showing a remarkable increase of $74,437,137.99 in 
four and one-half years, which is more than a 350 per cent gain 
during that time." 83 This increase, in the opinion of Mr. Love, 
could be attributed "to a great extent to the improved business 
conditions generally throughout the state and also to the increas- 
ed confidence of the public in state banks and to the successful 
operation of bank supervision and the guaranty of deposits." 84 

The board of three bank examiners, with their assistants, 
have given their undivided attention to the duties placed by law 
upon the Banking Department. "In accordance with the law, 
every bank in the State of Mississippi has been examined twice 
each year by some one of the Examiners, a change of Examiners 
being made each time. Besides this the banks have been re- 
quired to make a detailed statement to the Banking Dpartment, 
under oath of their officers, at least five times each year as to 
their condition. These reports have been scrutinized by the 
Secretary as well as the Examiners, and the banks have been re- 
quired to comply fully with all demands of the law. Also a de- 
tailed report of the earnings and dividends, as well as an expense 
account, is required to be made by each bank to this Department 
under oath of its officers. ' ' 85 

The constructive work of the Banking Department since 
the new law went into effect has been one of the best features of 
the new system. The work of the Bank Examiners Board does 
not cease when they have enforced the provisions of the banking 
law. A great many valuable suggestions are made by the Board 
and are readily adopted by the banks, thereby improving their 
conditions, making them better banks, and in a great many in- 
stances helping to develop the communities. 86 

"Memphis Commercial Appeal, Feby. 21, 1919. 


"Biennial Report, Banking Department, Jan. 1, 1918, p. 4. 

"Ibid., p. 5. 




The Bank Examiners in their 1918 report to the legislature 
asked that a law be passed giving the Banking Department 
final power to accept or reject, or discretionary power of ap- 
proval of the establishment of new banks in Mississippi. The 
legislature failed to comply with this request, the law as passed 
requiring only that ' ' every banking corporation, before it trans- 
acts any banking business, shall file with the board of bank ex- 
aminers, certified copy of its articles of incorporation." 87 So 
banking corporations may still be formed under the general 
laws of the state, and the central administrative agency, viz., 
the Bank Examiners Board, does not have discretionary power 
of approval of the establishment of the new banking institu- 
tions. Although this discretionary power would place in the 
hands of the three bank examiners the authority to prohibit 
what might seem a plain right of people to enter a legitimate 
business, by the national banking laws such power is vested in 
an administrative agency, when it comes to the establishment 
of a new national bank. This would unquestionably be a valua- 
ble supplement to the law as it now stands; for the Bank Ex- 
aminers explain that "oftentimes parties undertake to organize a 
bank in a community other than for business reasons, and in a 
community where there is not sufficient business to support two 
banking institutions, or even one bank, which really means a 
losing proposition for both banks, and in time proves a loss to 
the depositors or to the Guaranty Fund. ' ' 88 

Another suggestion closely connected with the one just dis- 
cussed, and one which has very evident merits, is that the Bank 
Examiners Board be given legal authority to liquidate one bank 
through another, or bring about a merger, where the facts in 
the case warrant such action. The Board says: "In our work 
we find it necessary at times, where , there were two banks in a 
community, to liquidate one bank through the other, which 
really can be called a merger, but for the good of the community 
and the depositors, as well as the stockholders, it was necessary 
to close out one of the banks in this way." 89 The legislature 
S7 Sec. 28, Ch. 165, Laws of 1918. — — — — — — — — 

"Biennial Report, Banking Department, Jan. 1, 1918, p. 5. 
"Biennial Report, Banking Department, Jan. 1, 1918, p. 6. 


also failed to act upon this request. These two prophylactic meas- 
ures would serve greatly to strengthen the hands of the bank 
examiners in their administration of the banking law, and judg- 
ing by the favorable consideration with which most of the recom- 
mendations of the Banking Department have been received by 
the legislature it may be safe to predict that these appeals from 
the administrative offices of the Banking Department will be 
met by proper legislative enactment. 

A frequent argument against the banking law of 1914 was 
that it would cause many banks to convert into national banks in 
order to evade the strict requirements of the state law. But 
according to the records, those who offered arguments in refu- 
tation of this contention have had their conclusions justified by 
the results of the operation of the law for the first four years; 
for while there have been five state banks 90 to convert into na- 
tional banks since the guaranty law went into effect, there have 
been seven national banks 91 to surrender their charter and be- 
come state banks. It is submitted that this is some evidence of 
the success of the new system. 

With real authority placed in the hands of the three Bank 
Examiners, one of whom is chairman with clearly defined 
powers, the administration of the banking business of the State 
of Mississippi has taken on a definiteness absolutely indispensa- 
ble to efficient management. The new system established by 
the Banking Law of 1914 has justified itself in the opinion of 
the overwhelming majority of those most directly concerned ; it 
has been upheld by the highest court of the State; 9 - and the suc- 
cess which has been attained during the first few years bids fair 
to continue. 

M AU of these made the change in 1915, the year the guaranty feature 

of the 1914 act went into operation. They are, Bank of Aberdeen, 

Bank of Biloxi, Columbus Insurance and Banking Company, Bank 

of Itta Bena, and Bank of Rosedale. 
"First National Bank, Collins; First National Bank, Columbia; First 

National Bank, Philadelphia; First National Bank, New Albany; 

Progressive National Bank, Summit; First National Bank, Holly 

Springs; First National Bank, Ecru. 
"Bank of Oxford vs Love, 111 Miss. Reports, p. 669. The decision of 

the State Supreme Court was upheld by the U. S. Supreme Court, 

Nov. 10, 1919. 





The history of fiscal legislation and development in Missis- 
sippi may be said to fall within six separate periods. The 
boundary dates, as will be noted, represent reasonably distinct 
phases of the political and economic history of the state. The 
first five of these periods have been given by a leading author- 
ity 1 as follows: 

(1) Territorial (1798-1817) ; (2) Transitional (1817-1861) ; 
(3) Confederate and Post-Confederate Governments (1861- 
1867); (4) Reconstruction (1867-1876); (5) Modern (1876- 
1898). In this discussion the first four periods will be dis- 
cussed as given; the fifth period will be made to comprise the 
years 1876 to 1890 ; the sixth period will comprise the years 1890 
to 1919, as this will permit in the discussion of the sixth period m 
an examination of the fiscal development from the time of the 
flaming of the present constitution of the state. It is more 
germane to the purpose of this study to trace the fiscal develop- 
ment under the present constitution of the state; for the brief 
discussion of the antecedent periods, from the year 1798, fre- 
quent reference will be made to the authoritative discussion of ' 
this subject by Dr. Charles Hillman Brough. 2 

Fifteen years after the independence of the thirteen colo- 
nies in America was recognized, Congress passed an act a part 
of which read as follows: "All that country bounded on the 
west by the Mississippi river ; on the north by a line to be drawn 
due east from the mouth of the Yazoo river to the Chattahoo- 
chie river; on the east by the river Chattahoochie ; and on the 
south by the thirty-first degree of north latitude, shall be, and 
hereby is constituted one district, to be called the Mississippi 
Territory' ' 3 More than half of this territory later became em- 

'Charles Hillman Brough, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins. 

'History of Taxation in Miss., Pub. Miss. Hist. Society, Vol. II, pp. 

113-124. Dr. Brough is at present (1919) governor of Arkansas. 
•Act of Congress, April 7, 1798. See (1) preamble const. 1817, Fed. 

and State Consts., Part II, second ed., B. P. Poore, p. 1054, for 

boundaries of state when admitted to the Union; (2) Code 1906, 

Sec. 403, for present boundaries of state. 



braced in the state of Alabama ; the portion that remains in Mis- 
sissippi constitutes something like one-third of the area of the 
state. "Very little of the boundary of the original territory re- 
mains intact, and in so far as Mississippi is concerned all that 
remains of this original boundary is that around its southwest 
corner, extending from Pearl River along the thirty-first degree 
of north latitude to the Mississippi river and up that stream to 
the mouth of the Yazoo river. ' ' 4 

For the time being, however, the territory embraced in the 
Mississippi Territory w T as to be administered as a territorial gov- 
ernment. Major Winthrop Sargent, a native of Massachusetts, 
was appointed governor; he with three territorial judges was 
charged with the duty of framing a code of laws for the terri- 
tory, to be drawn from the statutes of the several states. The 
code, known as "Sargent's Code," which was drawn up by the 
governor and three judges has been referred to as "directly at 
variance with all statute law in America, and utterly repug- 
nant to any known system of jurisprudence derived from the 
common law of England." 5 Dr. Brough cites with approval 
this characterization of "Sargent's Code" in so far as it pertains 
to the "manner in which Money shall be Raised and Levied to 
defray the charges which may arise within the Several Coun- 
ties." 6 

It is interesting to note the main facts concerning this first 
piece of fiscal legislation in Mississippi : 7 

According to its provisions, the court of general quarter session In 
each county was authorized to make an estimate of the county's aver- 
age annual expenditure, the estimate to be submitted to the governor 
and one or more of the territorial judges for approval. The amount 
approved was then apportioned among the several towns within the 
county by commissioners biennially appointed by the court of common 
pleas. If the town numbered sixty or more free citizens, two commis- 
sioners were appointed; if one hundred or more, three commissioners. 
These commissioners received the returns of taxables in each town- 

4 J. M. White, Territorial Growth of Miss., Pub. Miss. Hist. Soc, Vol. 

II, p. 125. 
5 Lowrey and McCardle, Hist. Miss., p. 71; Brough, Pub. Miss. Hist 

Society, Vol. II, p. 113. 
•Brough, Pub. Miss. Hist. Soc, Vol. II, p. 113. 
"These facts are taken from History of Taxation in Miss., C. H. 

Brough, Pub. Miss. Hist. Soc, Vol. II, pp. 113-116. 



ship, and assessed the property therein. It was specified that the 
commissioners should ascertain "the names of all free men, inmates, 
hired male servants (being twenty-one years of age) and whether prof- 
itable or chargeable to the employers" * * * * and obtain "a list 
of all lands not being the property of the United States or appropri- 
ated to public uses, the tenements, houses, cabins or other buildings 
wherein people dwell and which are rented and afford an income to 
the owners, and all ferries, stores, shops, warehouses, mills, gins, keel 
or bateaux, boats of the burthen of twenty barrels and upward pro- 
ducing a yearly income, and of the bound male servants and male 
slaves above the age of sixteen and not exceeding fifty; draught oxen, 
saddle and draught horses, cows penned or kept up and immediately 
productive to the owners; together with the stock of cattle, including 
sheep and swine intended for market and thereby productive of annual 
income and profit." 

Lands were assessed "in just proportion to their value," with spe- 
cial regard to their annual profit, and no one having visible property 
less than one hundred dollars could be assessed "more than one dol- 
lar per head annually, save by a due proportion of labor in the open- 
ing and keeping in repair highways and public roads." 

Commenting upon these facts, Dr. Brough says: "This 
enumeration revived in the light of modern interpretation, virtu- 
ally means a graduated income tax applied to town and county 
government. The valuation of real estate was determined, not by 
the annual income (profit) which, on the average, it was deemed 
likely to produce. Taxation was altogether local, there being no 
territorial levy as distinguished from the biennial county and 
township levies. This localization of fiscal activity, an income 
(profit) valuation, and the fact that visible specific property 
bore all, or nearly all the burden of taxation, are thus the most 
striking characteristics of Mississippi's primitive scheme of tax- 
ation." 8 

One feature of this early scheme of taxation has been re- 
tained in spite of all subsequent changes, that is, the sheriff was 
ex-officio the county collector, as he is today. The sheriff 
as tax collector, had powers of imprisonment and distrain. 
He was allowed 1 per cent of the total, collections as com- 
pensation for his work, which amount he was authorized to 
deduct before turning over the funds to the county treasurer. 
The commissioners appointed by the County Court as assessors 
were allowed $1 per day. 

•History of Taxation in Miss., Pub. Miss. Hist. Soc, Vol. II, pp. 


This fiscal system was not substantially changed until 1815 
when a law was passed ' ' providing for a distinct territorial tax 
and specifying that county taxes should be levied upon 
the same property and objects enumerated as were within the 
territorial schedule." 9 County taxes could not exceed one-half 
of the territorial taxes. This law established the first common- 
wealth taxation, as distinguished from purely local taxation/ To 
quote from Dr. Brough: 

This territorial schedule comprised a general list of ratable ob- 
jects with fixed valuations. Land was divided into six classes, each 
class having three qualities. The bases of classification were proximi- 
ty to the city of Natchez and distance from the Mississippi, Chickasa- 
whay and Tombigbee Rivers. Thus, class number one contained all 
lands lying within eight miles of the city of Natchez, the first quality 
of which was rated at $12 per acre; the second, at $8; and the third, 
at $3. Class number two contained all lands lying within fourteen 
miles of the Mississippi River, with valuations according to quality 
ranging from $2 to $7. In short, valuations decreased in proportion 
as the distance from commercial centres and water courses increased. 
Lands, lots and buildings within any city, borough or town were sub- 
ject to a uniform ad valorem tax of 2 mills; and merchandise and 
bank stock, to an ad valorem tax of 2V 2 cents respectively were levied 
on each slave and free white male above the age of twenty-one. Slave 
traders were taxed $5.00 on each slave imported into the Territory, a 
tax containing the germs of the privilege license system. The schedule 
was further strengthened by a tax of $1.25 on every pleasurable car- 

By the law of 1815 a change of an administrative nature 
was made, for "it was provided that the assessing and collect- 
ing officers were to be appointed by the Governor, rather than by 
the county court, a3 heretofore; a change probably due to the 
differentiation between commonwealth and county taxation." 10 

During the second period in the history of fiscal legislation 
and development in Mississippi, i. e., 1817 to 1861, the tax sys- 
tem of the state underwent many changes. "The increased ex- 
pense of the state administration, an accumulation of state in- 
debtedness, minuter differentiation in industry, giving rise to 
more numerous classes of wealth and progress in democratic 

"Brough, Hist, of Taxation in Miss., Pub. Miss. Hist. Soc. Vol. II, p. 

115; Digest of Statutes of Miss. Territory, 1816, pp. 415-424, cited 

for provisions. 
"Brough, Hist, of Taxation in Miss., Pub. Miss. Hist. Soc. Vol. II, 

p. 116. 



thought; all demanded an extension of the State's fiscal sys- 
tem." 11 

It will suffice here to call attention briefly to the most sig- 
nificant changes of the 1817-1861 period, which were as follows : 
(1) Personal property became as important an object of taxa- 
tion as real property; 12 (2) The taxation of personal property, 
usually rated, was supplemented by the privilege license sys- 
tem, with charges partly rated and partly apportioned; 13 (3) 
The poll tax was widened in its application so as to include free 
negroes as well as free white male citizens between the ages of 
twenty-one and fifty years; 14 (4) Land classifications were abol- 
ished, and annual income was rejected as a device of valua- 
tion, 15 for which was substituted (5) Assessments according to 
intrinsic value, to be determined by the owner or person in 
charge on oath, taking into consideration improvements, prox- 
imity to navigation, towns, cities, villages or roads, and any 
other circumstance that may tend to enhance the value; 18 

(6) County police boards were authorized to "order a certain 
(variable) rate per centum on the amount of the assessment of 
State tax, ' ' and ' ■ to levy a special tax for the erection or repair 
of the court house, jail or other county buildings" 17 — thus 
changing the rule, in vogue under the territorial regime, under 
which the county tax could never exceed half the territorial tax ; 

(7) Radical change in the machinery of assessment and collec- 
tion, substituting for the method used during the territorial 
period whereby assessing and collecting officers were appointed 
by the County Courts or by the Territorial Governor, the meth- 
od of election, whereby these officers were chosen directly by the 
people who were directly responsible for their conduct. 18 The 

"Ibid., p. 116. 

"Ibid., p. 116, citing Revised Code of Miss., 1857, pp. 72-73. 

"Brough, p. 116. 

"Brough, p. 117. 

"Ibid., citing Hutchinson's Code of Miss., (1798-1848) pp. 188 and 202. 

"Brough, p. 117. 

"Ibid., citing Miss. Rev. Code, 1857, pp. 417-418. 

"Ibid., citing Miss. Revised Code, 1857, pp. 70-72. 


county sheriff remained ex-officio the county tax collector; the 
assessor was a separate officer with distinct functions ; both were 
elected biennially, and the compensation of each was fixed at 5 
per cent on the amount of state tax assessed and collected but the 
assessor's remuneration should not exceed the maximum of $500 
per annum and the collector's the sum of $3000. 19 In the subse- 
quent discussion of the fiscal system of the state in modern times 
the similarity to the fiscal machinery of the antebellum period 
will be in many instances quite patent. 

The period 1861-1867 naturally was a time of emergency 
revenue. An "Ordinance to Raise Means for the Defense of 
the State" was passed as a supplement to the Ordinance of Se- 
cession passed by the Constitutional Convention of Mississippi 
in 1861 whereby the state renounced her allegiance to the Union. 
Under this first war revenue act of the state each taxpayer was 
required to pay an additional Special Tax of 50 per cent on the 
regular state tax and also every inhabitant was required to pay 
3-10 per cent "upon all money owned or controlled by such in- 
habitant — the money so collected to constitute a Military 
Fund." 20 In 1863 a special tax known as the Military Relief 
Tax, of 50 per cent on the regular state tax was levied "for the 
relief of destitute families of Confederate soldiers. ' ' In addition 
to this tax and for the same purpose there was levied a direct 
tax in kind on certain articles of food and clothing. 21 By per- 
missive laws passed February and March 1865, ' ' for the benefit 
of the County Indigent Fund, the Boards of Police of the sev- 
eral counties were empowered to levy a tax in kind of % per 
cent on all corn, wheat and bacon grown and produced in the 
state." 22 

Not only were special taxes levied during the war period, 
but it became necessary to provide for an increase in the num- 
ber and rates of specific objects taxed. 23 

Speaking of methods used to meet the critical fiscal prob- 

"Brough, pp. 117-118. 

"Ibid., p. 118. 

"Ibid., p. 119, for a list of these articles. 

a Brough, p. 119. 

"Ibid., pp. 119-120, for details. 



lems of the State of Mississippi upon the downfall of the Con- 
federacy in 1865, Dr. Brough says : 

The Constitutional Convention of 1865 and the State Legislatures 
of 1865, 1866 and 1867 acted in a sensible and heroic way in dealing 
with the situation. A direct tax of $1 per bale was levied on all cot- 
ton brought to market and sold; an inheritance tax of 1 per cent of 
the gross amounts of all collateral inheritances; a tax of 3-10 per cent 
uf»on the amounts of the annual rents and tenements. Privilege li- 
censes were exacted from the larger corporations best able to bear 
them, a notable instance of this being the license of $2000 per annum 
imposed upon express companies (Miss. Laws, 1866-67, pp. 412-414). 
This selection of taxable objects proved most fortunate, the cotton tax 
alone yielding sufficient revenue to support the whole state adminis- 
tration. The commonwealth's indebtedness was sealed, and Mississippi 
was rising Phoenix-like from the ashes of financial despondency. 

The Reconstruction period 1867-1876 in fiscal history, as in 
practically every other way so far as government machinery 
was concerned, was characterized by inefficiency, extravagance, 
and dishonesty. Beginning with the meeting of the ; ' Black and 
Tan Convention" — so called from the negroes and carpet-bag- 
gers composing it — taxes were increased to the point of abso- 
lute confiscation Nothing was left untaxed, and tax rates were 
universally exorbitant. Dr. Brough says of this period: 24 

In 1869 the State levy was only 1 mill on the dollar; in 1870, 5 
mills; in 1871, 4 mills; in 1872, 8% mills; and in 1873, 12% mills. 
This was only the State Tax. In many counties a county tax of 100 
per cent on the State Tax was added, besides a Special Tax in some 
counties to pay the interest on the bonded debt, and a Special Tax in 
the incorporated towns of from 5 to 10 mills on the dollar for town 
purposes. In this way it happened that the total tax paid by citizens 
was 2 8-10 per cent outside the cities, and from 2y 2 to 4 per cent in 
cities and towns. 

The taxpayers convention which met in Jackson on Janu- 
ary 4, 1875, was the result of exorbitant taxes which were levied 
following the election and inauguration of Adelbert Ames as gov- 
ernor in 1874. The taxpayers convention, made an appeal to the 
legislature for relief, but "the legislature treated the petition 
with contempt, an action which resulted in the organization of 
taxpayers' leagues over the state and the speedy overthrow of 
the carpet-bag government. ' ' 25 

*Brough, p. 121. 

^Ibid., p. 122. See also School Hist, of Miss., F. L. Riley, pp. 316-317. 



During the last six years of the Reconstruction period those 
in power spent on account of the expenses of State government 
an average of $1,484,699.55 per annum. 26 As an example of 
the inefficiency and maladministration which characterized the 
acts of the Reconstruction officers, Dr. Brough has the follow- 
ing to say : 27 

They collected nearly a million dollars of what is now known as 
the common school fund, and spent it all in riotous governmental liv- 
ing, save the pittance of $57,000 in U. S. bonds left in the treasury to 
the credit of that fund. 

This money was not spent on the common schools, the purpose for 
which it was collected, but was misappropriated and unaccounted for, 
and a debt against the state on account of that fund, was left Janu- 
ary 1, 1876, amounting to $830,378.18. This, too, in spite of the fact 
that the average rates of state and county taxation during the six 
years in question were 8.87% mills and 12.49 2-3 mills respectively, 
making a combined average of $21.37 y 2 on the thousand. 

After the elections of 1875 in Mississippi there was prom- 
ise of better things in public administration. The division of 
fiscal history into the fourth period comprising the years 1876 to 
1890 is somewhat artificial; yet it is justified inasmuch as the 
former date marked the beginning of fiscal reform, and in the 
latter year a new constitution was adopted. The Reconstruc- 
tion regime left the state facing serious indebtedness. During 
the years immediately following 1876 substantial progress was 
made along educational and other governmental lines. In spite 
of the debt and the expenditures necessitated by the establish- 
ment and improvement of educational and eleemosynary insti- 
tutions, the period from 1876 to 1890 was " characterized by a 
decrease in both state and county tax rates and by a propor- 
tionate reduction in state indebtedness, both in amount and in- 
terest charge." 28 What happened during the first year after 
the state government was delivered from the Reconstruction re- 
gime is characteristic of the period 1876 to 1890. Of this first 
year Dr. Brough says: 29 

The first year of this period, i. e., 1876, gave earnest of fiscal 
reform. State taxes were reduced from 9% mills on the dollar to 
2*6 mills. The taxing power of county boards of supervisors was 

•"Ibid., p. 122. 
"Ibid., pp. 122-123. 
"Brough, p. 123. 
"Ibid., p. 123. 

: I 


restricted, a law being passed which prohibited them from levying 
taxes for county purposes, which added to the state tax, would 'ex- 
ceed 16 y 2 mills on the dollar, except for indispensable purposes. Su- 
pernumerary officials were dismissed, the common school system im- 
proved, sinecures abolished and salaries reduced. The highest rate of 
compensation was no longer paid for the lowest standard of qualifica- 

During the period of 1890 to 1919 substantial progress has 
been made toward providing better administrative machinery 
for handling the problem of taxation in Mississippi. To say that 
the state has not settled upon any system of taxation that is 
entirely satisfactory would be to cite a commonplace truth ap- 
plicable, to greater or less extent, to any state in the Union. 
Referring to the problem as ■ ' stupendous in magnitude and crit- 
ical in importance," the Joint Committee of the Senate and 
House of Representatives appointed at the session of 1916, to 
consider Mississippi's revenue system and general fiscal affairs, 
indicated something as to the present condition when it said: 
"Mississippi's antiquated revenue system must be reformed so 
as to establish an adequate system for raising the state's income, 
as well as a logical and economical method of disbursing public 
funds." 30 

Nearly three decades have passed since the adoption of the 
present constitution of Mississippi. Under this constitution and 
the laws passed pursuant thereto tremendous progress has been 
made in the various activities of the state. Prior to 1890 the 
public school system of the state has been established, but its 
growth has been considerably retarded; four of the five state- 
supported higher educational institutions had been established, 31 
but they had not reached proportions commensurate with the 
needs ; a Confederate pension fund has been provided, but neces- 
sity demanded its increase. Since 1890 expansion has been 
rapid. Increase in population 32 has been both a cause and a re- 
sult of the quickened economic life of the state. Industries 
have been expanded and diversified. A natural concomitant of 

^Report to 1918 session legislature, p. 9. 

3, See part III, Ch. on Public Education, supra. 

tt 1890 to 1900, increase 261,670, 20.3 per cent; 1900 to 1910, increase 

245,844, or 15.8 per cent. See Abstract Thirteenth Census U. S., 

p. 23. 



this general expansion has been an increased need for money to 
enable the state to foster and encourage progress along every 
legitimate line. 

This increased need for money on the part of the state has 
made more complicated the whole problem of public finances. 
As long as a comparatively small amount was needed for meet- 
ting the needs of the state it was a reasonably easy matter to 
secure the amount through the various sub-divisions of the 
state ; but when the needs of the state became greater individuals 
and sub-divisions of the state began to look askance at the 
amounts demanded of them for maintaining the state govern- 
ment. This practice of individuals .and local communities to- 
ward personal and local contributions to the state, in the opin- 
ion of some " stands at the bottom of ninety per cent of our 
problems of public finance, and renders dismally difficult the 
efforts of every state in the Union to harmonize its system of 
taxation with the increased burdens which it is called upon to 
bear." 33 

In attempting to solve her fiscal problem Mississippi is not 
confronted with many of the obstacles prevalent in some other 
states in the Union. The state is essentially agricultural. There 
is no mining industry of any description. There are no great 
cities, and therefore no conflict between urban and rural classes. 
The economic problems of every section of the state are, in a 
large sense, the same. 

It is the opinion of those who have studied the fiscal prob- 
lems of Mississippi that the state is not a victim of extrava- 
gance and mismanagement. It is true that deficits have occurred 
nearly every year for the past fourteen or fifteen years; 34 but 
this, it seems certain, is because of a low per capita revenue, 
rather than from a high per capita expense. In 1915 there were 
only nineteen states in the Union whose revenue exceeded their 

"See Miss. Banker, Vol. 3, No. 11, May 1917, p. 49, article by Hon. 

Alfred H. Stone, The State's Finances. 
"Joint Rept. Senate and House Committees, Miss. Legislature, 1918, 

on State's Revenue System and Fiscal Affairs, p. 10. 



expenditures. 35 The total per capita governmental cost for Mis- 
sissippi for that year was only $2.70, the sixth lowest in the 
United States ; there were then only six states with a lower per 
capita property tax contribution to state revenue than that of 
Mississippi. 36 

The financial condition of Mississippi in 1916 was as follows : 
Payable bonded debt of the state, $3,802,899 ; total non-payable 
debt (for trust funds), $2,354,607.74; grand total debt of the 
state, $6,157,506.74. 37 

What is needed to solve the fiscal problems of the state of 
Mississippi is the development of better administrative machin- 
ery for raising and disbursing revenue. The problem of taxa- 
tion is "not only that of producing sufficient revenue, but of 
producing it equitably — not only as between counties and clssses 
of property, but fundamentally also between individual proper- 
ties and individual property-owners," to quote Mr. Alfred H. 
Stone, a student of Mississippi's fiscal problems. 38 

The most striking characteristic of the administration of 
public finance matters in the State of Mississippi until 1916 was 
almost entire lack of central control ; decentralization was every- 
where in evidence. Referring to the situation prior to the pas- 
sage of the equilization act by the legislature of 1916, Mr. Stone 
said: "The power of the state to raise revenue from taxes un- 
der our present system * * * * was circumscribed to 
such limits that it amounted to only the right to fix a levy for 
state purposes. The right to say what such levy should effect, 
to have any voice in the matter of fixing the values of the prop- 
erty on which the levy was laid, was denied the state. This 
power of absolute local control of assessment goes to the founda- 
tion of local government, but when abused it also saps the foun- 

"See A. H. Stone, article p. 48, Miss. Banker, Vol. 3, No. 11. 


"Biennial Rept Auditor Pub. Accounts., Miss., 1915-1917, p. 165. 

W A. H. Stone, Vol. 3, No. 11, The Miss. Banker, p. 51. 



dations of the whole state taxation system, which is in turn the 
cornerstone of the state 's fiscal affairs. ' ' 39 

An examination of the fiscal problem of the state, especial- 
ly the administrative machinery of this important branch of 
public adminstration, prior to 1916 reveals some interesting 
facts, not the least of which is that in Mississippi, as in many 
other states, raising sufficient revenue to meet necessary ex- 
penses has too frequently been viewed as the whole of the fiscal 
problem. Certainly this constitutes only one phase of the fiscal 
problem. An equally important phase of the problem is to see 
that, as nearly as possible, this revenue is " raised in a manner 
which will not be oppressive of any person or corporation, at 
the same time letting no property escape its just share of the 
burden." 40 Much depends upon the administrative machinery 
created ; for unless methods be devised for carrying out the fore- 
going phase of the fiscal problem "with the greatest measure 
of simplicity and execution" 41 the means will most certainly de- 
feat the ends sought. 

According to the conclusion reached by the Joint Com- 
mittee of the Senate and House appointed by the legislature in 
1916 to consider the State's revenue system and fiscal affairs, 
the fiscal system as it existed before the legislation of 1916, was 
defective in four general respects : First, it furnished an inade- 
quate state income upon a millage rate that should have been 
sufficient; second, the system of taxation was not equitable; 
third, it resulted in burdensome taxes; fourth, it encouraged 
tax-dodging, inefficiency and extravagance. 

The system furnished an inadequate state income upon a 
millage rate that should have been sufficient, in the opinian of 
the legislative committee, not so much because of waste and ex- 
travagance, though these to some extent contributed thereto, as 
because of two other factors, namely, .(1) the increase in popula- 
tion and the natural, progressive broadening of governmental 

"The State's Finances, Alfred H. Stone, The Miss. Banker, Vol. 3, 

No. 11, May, 1917, pp. *9_50. 
"Ibid, p. 45. 
4, Ibid. 



activities which have greatly augmented the expense of operat- 
ing the state government, and (2) a reduction in some sources 
of state revenue, despite the fact that the past few years have 
shown great development in the material prosperity of the peo- 
ple of the state. To show something as to the nature of the re- 
duction in sources of state revenue the committee said : 

For example, there was a reduction of $20,781,737.00 in 'the total 
assessed valuation in 1915 from what it was in 1914. In 1915 there were 
127,242 more acres of land in cultivation, as appears from the assess- 
ment rolls, than in 1913, and yet the assessed valuation of the culti- 
vated lands in 1915, with this increased acreage, was $1,512,225.00 less 
than in 1913. And there was a decrease of $5,000,000.00 less in the 
valuation of wild lands also. These figures are significantly suggestive. 
To show that the system was not equitable the committee 
cited glaring variations in land values in the various counties of 
the state. Some of the greatest inequalities existed between 
values in adjoining counties. 42 These variations, said the com- 
mittee, were due to the fact that the land values were fixed by 
eighty 43 different Boards of Supervisors, each having supreme 
control over the assessment rolls of its particular county. The 
result was as stated by the committee that "valuations were re- 
duced, local levies increased and the state deprived of its legiti- 
mate and necessary income. ' ,44 The report says further : 45 

The tax-payer was supposed to list his property at its actual value, • 
as specified by the State Constitution, and not purposely reduce his 
assessment because his neighbors had reduced theirs.. Yet many citi- 
zens who are the soul of honor in their general dealings with their 
fellowman, felt that they were compelled to do that very thing. Be- j 

cause his neighbors never listed their property at its actual value, the 
levies were two or three times higher than they would be if the law 
were complied with, and therefore each tax-payer felt that he could ill 
afford to be an exception by listing his property at full value. 
High levies followed the wholesale practice of undervaluation 
of lands. Intangibles went into hiding, and "the net result of 

"Lanci in Jones County paid to the state a. tax of 5 cents per acre; 
in Jasper County, which is adjacent, the same character of land 
paid 2.7 cents per acre. Harrison County paid 21.9 cents per acre; 
Jackson County, adjacent and of the same character of land, paid 
2.7 cents per acre. Lee County paid 4.1 cents per acre; Monroe, 
adjacent, paid 2.4 cents per acre. Covington County paid 4.9 cents 
per acre, while Franklin County paid 1.9 cents per acre. See Joint 
Rept. Comm. Senate and House, 1918, p. 11. 
"Eighty-two in 1919. 

**Rpt. Joint Comm. Senate and House, 1918, p. 11. 



the situation * * * # is that the man with his property 
in sight is bearing the burdens of government." 46 

Section 20, Article XII, of the Constitution of 1869 pro- 
vided: "Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the 
State. All property shall be taxed in proportion to its value, 
to be ascertained as directed by law." Section 112, Article 4, 
of the Constitution of 1890 enlarges somewhat upon the consti- 
tutional provisions of 1869, when it provides: 

Taxation shall be uniform and equal throughout the State. Prop- 
erty shall be taxed in proportion to its value. The legislature may, 
however, impose a tax per capita upon such domestic animals as from 
their nature and habits are destructive of other property. Property 
shall be assessed for taxes under general laws, and by uniform rules 
according to its true value. But the legislature may provide for a 
special mode of valuation and assessment for railroads, and railroad 
and other corporate property, or for particular species of property be- 
longing to persons, corporations or associations not situated wholly in 
one county. But all such property shall be assessed at its true value, 
and no county shall be denied the right to levy county and special 
taxes upon such assessment as in other cases of property situated and 
assessed in the county. 

Under this provision of the Constitution the general property 
tax is the chief source of revenue in Mississippi. All classes 
of property are taxed at the same general rate, whether income 
earning property or not. Attention will be given to this phase 
of the problem presently ; 47 suffice it to say that this is a serious 
objection to the present fiscal system of the state. Another charge 
against the system to show that it is not equitable is that under 
it double taxation has been conspicuously present. 

The third charge against the fiscal system as it existed in 
1916 was that it resulted in burdensome taxes, not because 
of the state taxation or legislative appropriation, which at that 
time was only six mills, but on account of local taxes. To sub- 
stantiate this charge the report of the legislative committee said : 
The greater weight of taxation orignates with counties, munici- 
palities and other local units, where profiligate waste and reckless ex- 
travagance in the past have evidenced the incomptency of many offi- 
cials. Numbers of these local units are in a wretched condition of 
financial distress, and, in face of high tax levies, their paper often suf- 
fers a discount — in many instances as great as 33 1-3 per cent. Of 
course, recent years have seen large expenditures in Mississippi for 

"Ibid., p. 13. 
"Infra., p. 21Sff. 


good roads and more commodious school buildings, and *hese, though 
the best sort of investments, have added their weight to the burden. 
We should also bear in mind that much of the taxation of these local 
units is the result of bond issues and special levies, which were made 
at the instance of petitions signed by a majority of the qualified 
electors or which were approved by the voters at the polls. But we 
find this burden piling up. For if a county's paper is worth only 
two-thirds of its face value, of course, the county pays that much more 
for what it obtains. Outstanding warrants result in a discount, and a 
discount, by reducing the purchasing power of the warrant, in turn 
results in the increase of outstanding wax rants, and so the cycle is run. 
When the source of tax burdens is sought, we should remember 
that from 1897 to 1899 inclusive, the state tax was 6% mills, with the 
local tax ranging from 6 to 10 mills; while today the state tax is 4 
mills, with the local rates running from 30 to 50 mills in many sec- 

Tax-dodging, inefficiency and extravagance constituted the 

fourth charge against the fiscal system of the state. This was 
the natural result of the lack of a well organized administrative 
plan. The method of selecting officials to manage the fiscal af- 
fairs of local taxing units, without requirement of special busi- 
ness qualifications; the lack of interest taken in public affairs 
by the conservative and substantial citizen; the fact that the 
state has no budget system, no uniform system of book-keeping 
and accounting, and no business-like system of purchasing state 
supplies; the practice of anticipating the income, rather than 
working on a cash basis; slipshod, haphazard methods of bor- 
rowing money and managing the state fiscal affairs in general 48 
— all these resulted in tax dodging, inefficiency and extrava- 

The modus operandi of the fiscal officers prior to the crea- 
tion of the State Tax Commission in 1916 may be summed up 
briefly : Assessment of personal property was made annually be- 
tween the first day of February and the first Monday in June ;* 9 
assessment of land was made every two years between the first 
of February and the first day of July ; 50 money subject to taxa- 
tion, either on deposit or loaned out at interest, in or out of the 
state, was assessed and taxed in the county where the owner 

"Joint. Rept. House and Senate Comm., 1918, pp. 16-17. See pp. 52- 
56 of this report for recommendations concerning budget system, 
general purchasing board, and general auditing system. 

"Code 1906, Ch. 122, Sec. 4263. 
"Ibid., Sec. 4280. 


lived; 51 every able-bodied male inhabitant of the state over 
twenty-one and under sixty years of age was assessed a poll 
tax of two dollars annually. 52 

In theory, the mode of assessment is simple. The law re- 
quires that the county assessor or his deputy call on each per- 
son liable to taxation and furnish him with the proper blank 
form for list of his taxable property. 53 The property owner 
fills in his taxable property with the value of each article, the 
accuracy of which he verifies by oath. 54 The law governing land 
assessments provides that the valuation shall be made on the 
judgment of the owner or person having charge of it. 55 To a 
much greater extent, therefore, than might be expected the own- 
x er of property is himself allowed a considerable share in making 
the assessment. To the extent to which he is willing to disregard 
the oath attached to the list on which he schedules his property, 
the property owner may undervalue his taxable holdings. The 
county board of supervisors, consisting of five property owners, 
one selected from each supervisor's district or beat in the coun- 
ty, constitutes the county board of equalization of assessments 
throughout the county. The county board of supervisors has 
the power of reviewing the original assesments made by the 
assessor, and may increase or diminish the valuation of any 
property. 56 

The State Railroad Commission, consisting of one commis- 
sioner elected from each of the three supreme court districts, 
assesses railroad property and that of other public service cor- 
porations. 57 These assessments are made annually. The law 
requires the corporations concerned to furnish to the railroad 
commission a complete schedule of all their property with the 
value thereof. The law specifies that the railroad commissioners 
must furnish annually to each county a schedule of the amount 

"Ibid., Sec. 4266. 

^Const. 1890, Art. 12, Sec. 243; Code 1906, Ch. 122, Sec. 4252. 

K Code 1906, Ch. 122, Sec. 4264. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4271. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4281. 

"Ibid., Sees. 4268, 4276. 

"Code 1906, Sec. 4382-4384. 


of property owned by the corporations therein, in order that the 
various counties, districts, and municipalities may collect taxes 
upon such property. 58 The commissioners are required to hold 
meetings annually to hear and determine objections to assess- 
ments made by them. 59 

The levy and the collection of the taxes come as soon as 
practicable after the assessments have been made. The 'state leg- 
islature fixes the rate of taxes for state purposes, although the 
important question of valuation was, prior to 1916, left entirely 
within the hands of the county assessors and the various county 
boards of supervisors. The county boards and municipal auth- 
orities make levies for local purposes. The constitution by pro- 
hibiting special legislation in the case of towns, cities and other 
municipal corporations when exercising the power of assess- 
ment, taxation, borrowing money, or contracting debts, attempts 
to prevent such corporations from abusing their powers of taxa- 
tion. 60 The legislature, from time to time, passes acts which 
limit the freedom of county boards of supervisors in the amount 
of taxes they may levy. 61 The legislature of 1916 fixed the ad 
valorem tax for that and the next year at 6 mills on the dol- 
lar, 62 and authorized county boards of supervisors to "levy 
taxes for all purposes (exclusive of road, courthouse, county- 
common schools and agricultural high school tax) which, added 
to the state tax, will make 16 mills on the dollar for the year 1916 
and 16 mills on the dollar for the year 1917, and no more." 63 
The legislature of 1918 fixed the ad valorem tax for 1918 and for 
1919 at 51/2 mills on the dollar. The county tax levy for all 
purposes (exclusive of all county or district road taxes, court 
house, tick eradication, county common school, agricultural 
high school and all other county or district school taxes) was 
fixed at a rate not exceeding 8 mills on the dollar for 1918 and 
the same for 1919, exclusive of the state levy of 5% mills." 64 

"Ibid., Sec. 4387. 

"Ibid., Sec. 4388. 

"Sec. 80. 

"Biennial Laws fixing ad valorem tax. 

"Laws 1916. Ch. 85, p. 73. 

"Laws 1916, Ch. 85, p.73. 

••Laws 1918, Ch. 105, H. B. No. 385, pp. 88-89. 


The county sheriff is the county tax collector. When all 
levies have been made, the tax collector adds the county and dis- 
trict tax due from each person to the amount of state taxes due 
and collects the total amount. The poll tax of two dollars is 
due on or before the first day of February; after that time all 
who have not paid their poll tax have their names placed on the 
delinquent list. Under the constitution of the state, 65 no crimi- 
nal proceedings may be brought for the collection of the poll 
tax; but no person is permitted to vote at any election who has 
not paid "on or before the first day of February of the year in 
which he shall offer to vote, all taxes which may have been 
legally required of him * * * * for the two preceding 
years * * * * , 66 All taxes on real and personal property 
are due on or before the 15th day of December of each year, and 
unless paid by that time the tax collector is empowered to collect 
them by the sale of any personal property liable therefor. 67 

The tax levy for the year 1918, in Beat One, outside the 
Separate School District of Starkville, Oktibbeha County, was 
thirty and three-quarter mills. The tax of 30 3-4 mills was lev- 
ied for the following purposes : 

1. State Tax 5% mills 

2 Int. and maturities road bonds 7 mills 

3. Maintenance rock roads 1 mill 

4. Loan warrant 1918 (a deficit due to expense of tick erad- 

ication) 6 mills 

5. Int. court house bonds y& mill 

6. Public Schools 1 mill 

7. Agricultural High School 1 mill 

8. General road fund 2% mills 

9. Common county fund *. 6 mills 

Though the levy varies widely in amount and nature in the sev- 
eral counties of the state, this is indicative of the situation in 
the average supervisor's district, of which in 1919 there were 
410 in Mississippi. 63 

Thus it will be noted that the Mississippi taxpayer's chief 
burdens have been of local origin ; that there has been no admin- 

"Const, 1890, Art. 12, Sec. 243. 

"Const. 1890, Art. 12, Sec. 241. 

"Code 1906, Sec. 4315. 

"Eighty-two counties, five supervisor's districts to the county. 



istrative agency to see that the burden of state taxation should be 
equally distributed among the eighty-two counties of the state; 
and that ostensibly serving as county boards of equalization, as 
between individual property owners within the county, the vari- 
ous boards of supervisors have allowed to go uncorrected many 
glaring inconsistencies. 

The state legislature which met in 1916 sought in the pass- 
age of the Kyle Bill (Chapter 98 of the Laws of 1916) to remedy 
some of the evils of the fiscal system as it existed at that time. 

Section 3 of the Act 69 authorizes the governor to appoint 
three State Tax Commissioners, one from each supreme court 
district. The Commissioners' term of office is made four years. 
No person is qualified to hold the office of Commissioner who is 
not a qualified elector and free holder in the state. The Tax 
Commissioner's salary is fixed by the law at $2,500 per annum; 
they are required to devote their entire time to the duties of the 

The duties of the State Tax Commission as provided by the 

law creating the Board are : ' 

(1) T0 To investigate all matters of taxation and recommend to 
the legislature, through the auditor, at each biennial session, such 
changes and alterations in the tax laws of the state as in their judg- 
ment they may deem best to bring about a more perfect, equitable, ade- 
quate, just and thorough system of taxation and valuation of property 
for state and county taxation; 

(2) 71 To carefully examine the assessment rolls of the several 
counties in this state filed in the office of the auditor, and to compare 
the said assessment rolls for the purpose of ascertaining whether the 
tax valuations of the various classes of property as made in the respec- 
tive counties of the state is reasonably uniform as between the respec- 
tive counties. It is the purpose and intent of this act to bring about 
an equalization throughout the. state of the values of the various 
classes of property subject to be taxed, so that the value fixed in one 
county shall not be out of due proportion to the values fixed in other 
counties on the same classes of property. If it shall appear to the 
said board of state tax commissioners that in any one or more of the 
counties of this state the taxable values fixed upon any one or more 
classes of property are not uniform with the values fixed upon the same 
classes of property in other counties, the said board of state tax com- 
missioners shall investigate and inquire as to the facts in regard there- 

"Laws 1916, Ch. 98. 

"Laws 1916, Ch. 98, H. B. No. 395, Sec. 5, p. 98. " > 

T, Ibid. — . 


to, and after making such investigation and comparison, shall have 
authority to adjust and equalize the same either, and to that end may 
add a fixed per centum to the assessed valuation of any class of prop- 
erty in any county, if they find that the valuation was too low; pro- 
vided, such raise shall not exceed the actual value of the property in 
any case, or by deducting a fixed per centum from the valuation, if 
they find that the valuation was too high, as may appear just and 
right between the counties; and the chairman of the said board of 
state tax commissioners shall thereupon notify by United States mail 
the president of the board of supervisors of the county affected that 
the county valuations upon the classes of property specified in the said 
notice shall be raised or lowered as found by the said board of state 
tax commissioners, and the auditor shall thereupon return to the said 
county its tax rolls for correction accordingly. 

The Board of Supervisors are made responsible for the car- 
rying out of orders for changes in the total county assessment 
made by the State Board of Tax Commissioners. 72 If, however, 
the Board of Supervisors be dissatisfied with the changes and 
corrections ordered tc be made, the president of the Board of 
Supervisors may appoint not exceeding five witnesses to appear 
under oath before the board of Tax Commissioners, ''and the 
board of state tax commissioners shall then revise their action, or 
not, as they may think just and proper. ' ' 73 The decision of the 
board of state tax commissioners then made is final, and the 
county board of supervisors is required immediately to revise 
and correct the county valuation. 

Members of the State Board are required to visit the sev- 
eral counties annually. The law provides 74 that 

It shall be the duty of the board of state tax commissioners for 
one or more of its members to visit annually the several counties in 
the state for the purpose of familiarizing themselves with the charac- 
ter and values of the several classes of property therein, of investigat- 
ing the work and methods adopted by the board of supervisors and 
county tax assessors, and to ascertain wherein existing laws are defec- 
tive or improperly or negligently administered, and to report the re- 
sults of their investigation and the facts ascertained to the governor, 
through the auditor, from time to time, when required by him. 

The law also provides that it shall be the duty of the State 

Board of Tax Commissioners to investigate and ascertain what 

property is escaping taxation or assessment. It is made the 

duty of the State Board to report any such cases to the proper 

"Ibid., Sec. 6. 

"Laws 1916, Ch. 98, H. B. No. 395, Sec. 6. 

T< Ibid., Sec. 7. 


board or agency, and it is unlawful for such assessor, board, or 
agency to refuse to make assessments on such property. 75 

No law perhaps has been passed by the state legislature in 
recent years over which there has been waged greater contro- 
versy than the law creating the State Board of Tax Commis- 
sioners. 76 It seems certain that by many persons the purpose 
of the law has been very much misunderstood. Regarding the 
creation of the State Tax Commission the joint report of the 
Senate and House Committees appointed by the 1916 legislature 
to consider the state's revenue system and fiscal affairs contain- 
ed the following statement : 77 

Facing a deliberate reduction by the counties of $20,000,000.00 in 
the assessments on which was based the state's most important source 
of revenue, confronting a condition which had grown from bad to 
worse until it imperatively demanded alleviation, and conscientiously 
striving to remedy the most glaring defect of the state's fiscal system, 
in 1916 the legislature created a State Board of Tax Commissioners. 
Both branches also adopted resolutions providing for recess revenue 
committees composed of members from their respective houses. There 
was no conflict or inconsistency in these actions. 

The State Tax Commission was not created for the purpose of in- 
creasing the amount of taxes paid by those citizens who were bearing 
their proportionate share of the tax burdens, but rather to equalize 


TC The statute constituted the leading issue between two of the four 
candidates for governor in the 1919 primaries. One of the can- 
didates, Lee M. Russell, favored the retention of the statute, while 
another, Oscar Johnson, although not objecting to the idea of a cen- 
tralized commission or authority to regulate and equalize taxes, 
directed his criticism against the specific law of 1916. Mr. John- 
son based his criticism upon the following grounds: (1) He con- 
tended that the members of the commission should be elected; 
(2) That the members of the commission should come from the 
cMfferent districts of the state; (3) That the commission should 
have the authority to enforce obedience to its orders through the 
courts, something, he contended, the present commission did not 
have; (4) That the commission should have power to deal with 
- property inside the corporate limits of a city or town, because 
without such power, in ordering equalization the commission dis- 
criminates against property outside of the towns; this condition 
obtained on account of the fact that the commission is only author- 
ized to "equalize as between counties;" (5) That the commission is 
without authority to deal with the capital stock of the ordinary 
business corporation; (6) that the commission is without power 
to discover and have assessed millions of dollars of property es- 
caping taxation. See Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal, 
August 16, 1919. 

"Joint Rpt, Senate and House Committee, to Legislature 1918, p. 17. 


assessment valuations as between counties, and thereby work equity. 
The effect of such action, of course, would be to eliminate the practice 
of reducing valuations and increasing levies adopted by county 
boards. With this practice abolished, the state's income would be, to 
some extent, protected. The greater valuations thus obtained do not 
forecast greater burdens for the tax-payer eventually, for, as the val- 
uations go up, levies should come down. By far the major portion of 
the taxpayer's burden is purely local in character. If local levies are 
not sufficiently decreased, or if local expenditures are not properly 
curtailed, the fault lies solely with local taxing officials, and 'the rem- 
edy remains exclusively in local hands. 

Concerning this same subject, the State Tax Commission 
itself on January 25, 1918, said: 78 

The legislature did not create the State Tax Commission for the 
purpose of equalizing individual assessments, but for the purpose of 
equalizing assessments of one county as a whole compared to the 
others. The purpose of the law has not been understood. There are 
just as great inequalities, possibly, in individual assessments now as 
were heretofore, but such is no more the fault now of the Tax Com- 
mission than formerly, because the duty of equalizing individual 
assessments is that of the Boards of Supervisors, and not that of the 
Tax Commission. 

Previous to 1916, the assessments of properties was fixed by 
eighty Boards of Supervisors. The Constitution required that each 
Board fix the assessments of properties, at the full value thereof. Had 
all Boards of Supervisors fixed assessments at full value, no inequality 
would have existed between the several counties of the state, but this 
was not done; on the contrary, each Board of Supervisors fixed the total 
assessment as a rule so that, with the highest county tax rate (author- 
ized by law) and lowest valuation, only a sufficiency of county rev- 
enue would be collected. Thus, it will be seen, there were eighty 
different standards of assessment in Mississippi. The State Tax Com- 
mission was, therefore, created, to adjust these inequalities between 
assessments of the several counties of the state, so that each would pay 
its portion of the expense of the State government. 

Under these circumstances the fiscal problems of the state in 

its last analysis practically rested in the hands of County 

Boards of Supervisors, who by exercising this right to permit 

minimum valuations to be placed upon taxable property in the 

county and upon these valuations to place the maximum county 

tax rate authorized by law could deprive the state government 

of its chief source of revenue. This is manifestly true in view 

of the fact that the general tax on real and personal property 

yields by far the larger portion of the state's income. In this 

connection the Joint Legislative Committee poin ted out that a 

"Report of the State Tax Commission on Assessments for the Tax 
Year 1917, pp. 3-4. 



hundred per cent valuation is highly desirable for the reasons 
that (1) the Constitution requires it; 79 (2) full valuation ren- 
ders undervaluation more conspicuous and inequalities more 
glaring; (3) it means lower tax rates, and remedies the evil of 
having high tax levies drive certain classes of property from the 
assessment rolls, and thereby place an inequitable burden on 
other classes. It was pointed out in this connection, -too, that 
1 ' high tax levies, although they may result from undervaluation, 
discourage investments," and that "new capital invested in the 
state will reduce the amount of taxes collected on property al- 
ready here." 80 The fourth reason given why a hundred per 
cent valuation is highly desirable was that ■ ■ it will not increase 
the burden of the honest taxpayer, but, by the means already 
noted, and by the further fact that it will catch the taxpayer 
who is dodging by undervaluation, it will certainly work a re- 
duction, secure equality and eventually assure an adequate in- 
come to the state. ? ' 81 

Inasmuch as such great responsibility rests in the hands of 
the county fiscal authorities who are responsible for assess- 
ments it is well to give attention briefly to the assessor's office 
and to the office of county supervisor. 

The constitution of 1890 82 provides that each county of the 
state shall have a tax assessor to be selected as provided by stat- 
ute law and whose term is four years. Until the first Monday 
in January, 1920, when the statute passed by the 1916 legis- 
lature placing all county officials on a salary basis 83 becomes 
operative, the compensation of assessors was based upon the fol- 
lowing provision of the 1906 Code : 

Each assessor shall be entitled to receive from the state treasurer 
as a compensation for his services five per cent of the amount of state 
tax contained in his assessment, payable when a duly certified copy* of 
his assessment roll or rolls, properly made, shall be deposited in the 
auditor's office and approved by him, but such compensation shall not 
be less than five hunared dollars for each of said rolls (the land and 
personal rolls to be counted (two rolls), nor more than fifteen hundred 

"Const. 1890, Art. 4, Sec. 112. 

"Joint Rpt. Senate and House to Legislature 1918, p. 18. 
"Joint Rpt, Senate and House to Legislature 1918, p. 18. 
"Art. V, Sec. 135; See Const. 1869, Art. V, Sec. 21. 
"Laws 1916, Ch. 102, S. B. No. 279. 


dollars in payment of both rolls in any one year, and the board of su- 
pervisors of any county shall, in addition, allow the assessor not ex- 
ceeding ten cents for each individual assessed on the personal roll, al- 
though only assessed for poll-tax payable out of the county treasury; 
but no commission or other allowance shall be paid by the state for 
assessing poll-taxes; and for enumeration of the educable children of 
the county he shall be allowed two cents for each child enumerated, 
payable out of the school fund of the county. 

Although the law seemed, according to the section of the 
code just quoted, to make it obligatory upon the county boards 
of supervisors to allow the additional compensation of ten cents 
for each individual assessed on the personal roll, by judicial de- 
cision it was declared that ' ■ the additional compensation not ex- 
ceeding ten cents for each individual assessed on the personal 
property roll may or may not be allowed, within the discretion 
of the board of supervisors. ? >84 

By the law effective on and after the first Monday in Jan- 
uary, 1920, the annual salaries of the eighty-two county tax 
assessors will be $2500 in the counties of class one ; $2000 in the 
counties of class two ; $1750 in the counties of class three ; $1500 
in the counties of class four; and $1250 in the counties of class 
five. The total assessed valuation of real and personal property 
and the property of public service corporations in the county is 
the basis of the classification for the purpose of determining the 
salary of county officers. Where this total valuation is equal 
to or exceeds ten million dollars the county is placed in class 
one ; from seven million to ten million dollars, class two ; from 
five million to seven million dollars, class three; from three mil- 
lion to five million dollars, class four; and less than three mil- 
lion dollars, class five. 85 

The importance of the office of county tax assessor has been 
very much underestimated by the average citizen and tax-payer. 
In the opinion of the Joint Legislative Committee which re- 
ported to the 1918 legislature concerning the revenue system 
and fiscal affairs of the State, ' ' the assessor is pre-eminently the 
most important fiscal officer of the county and state." 88 Placing 

"Williams v. Sharkey County, 74 Miss., 122 (20 So., 860). See also 

Bogan v. Holder, 76 Miss., 597 (24 So., 695). 
"Laws 1916, Ch. 102, S. B. No. 279, Sec. 1, pp. 110-112. 
"Report to the legislature 1918, p. 19. 




at the head of the suggestions for remedial legislation those 
which relate to the duties, functions, qualifications, responsi- 
bilities and compensation of the assessing office, the committee 
said further regarding this office that " it is a conservative state- 
ment to say that if the problems relating to the discharge of the 
duties of this office could be so worked out as to assure a proper 
initial assessing of property, there would be but little left of the 
general problem of taxation. ' ,87 

The chief reasons why the work of the assessing office has 
not been done more thoroughly and efficiently in the past seem 
to be because (1) no definite qualifications as to fitness are re- 
quired of those who seek the office of assessor; (2) inadequate 
compensation has resulted in many incompetent men seeking 
and obtaining the office; (3) inconsistency of the requirements 
of the constitution and those of legislative acts regarding the 
duties of assessors in fixing values has caused them to pass this 
duty on to the Board of Supervisors; (4) the lack of political 
and official immunity has influenced, to considerable degree, 
the actions of some assessors; (5) where a competent man does 
fill the place, "immemorial usage, traditional local custom and 
the exigencies of personal considerations too often combine to 
render impossible of success his honest endeavor to secure the 
assessment which his oath of office requires him to make. J ,88 

Under the present constitution 89 and laws of the state 90 
there are no requirements as to fitness for candidates for assess- 
or ; it is merely required that he be elected by the tax-payers of 
the county. The State Tax Commission gives an estimate of 
the qualifications which the assessor should possess. The re- 
port of the Tax Commission says : 91 

He should be an accurate clerical man. He should have a thor- 
ough knowledge of his duties and the laws governing them. To have 


"For interesting discussions of condition and needs of the assessing 
office in the state, see (1) Rpt. Joint Com. Senate anci House on 
St. Revenue and Fiscal Affairs, 1918, pp. 19-21; (2) Rpt. of the 
State Tax Commission on Assessments for 1917 made to State 
Legislature 1918, pp. 16-17. 

"Const, 1890, Sees. 135, 136, 138. 

"Code 1906, Sec. 4140. 

"Report to Legislature 1918, p. 16. 



all these qualifications, he must have had some educational advantages. 
In addition to all these qualifications, he should have a knowledge of 
the value of everything in his county. He should know the values of 
lands, live stock, merchandise, buildings and machinery. 

To remove the office entirely from local control and vest in 
some centralized body the duty of selecting and power of remov- 
ing the county assessor would be one, and no doubt an altogether 
too radical, way of remedying the situation. A better way, 
which has been suggested, 92 would be to require all candidates 
for the office of assessor to prove their fitness by passing a prac- 
tical, non-technical examination conducted by the proper central- 
ized body, preferably the State Tax Commission. This method 
has been practiced for some years in connection with the office 
of county superintendent of education. 93 It is also practised 
with a high degree of success in the selection of the three state 
bank examiners. 94 

The question of inadequate compensation is intimately con- 
nected w T ith the problem of prescribing qualifications for the 
assessors. As has been noted 95 after January 1920, the salaries 
of the assessors will range from $2500 to $1250. Considering 
the importance of the office manifestly this range of salaries is 
too low. It has been suggested 96 that the compensation of 
assessors be made the same as that of the sheriff and tax col- 
lector, under the 1916 statute. If this were done the assessors 
would receive, according to the total assessed valuation of real, 
personal and public service corporations property in the various 
counties, from $3500 to $2500. 97 - 

The constitution 98 requires that there shall be an assessor 
for each county; although not definitely stated in the constitu- 

M By the Joint Com. of State Legislature, Rpt. 1918, pp. 19-20. 

"Code of 1906, Sec. 4811, See Ch. II, supra. 

"Laws 1914, Ch. 124, S. B. No. 48, Sec. 5. See Ch. Ill, supra. 

"Supra., p. 207. 

"By the Joint Com. of Legislature, Rpt. 1918, p. 21. 

"Laws 1916, Ch. 102, S. B. No. 279, Sec. 1. pp. 110-112. 

"Const. 1890, Sec. 135. 



tion, by the meaning of the word and judicial interpretation" 
the chief duty of this officer is that of fixing a valuation on 
property for taxation. Nevertheless according to provision of 
the Code the assessor is forbidden the right to list property on 
the rolls at valuations made by him ; it merely requires that the 
assessor report under-valuations to the Board of Supervisors. 
Section 4268 Code of 1906 is as follows: 

It shall be the duty of each person fixing the value of his property 
to estimate the same at its cash value at the time of valuation, and 
not what it might sell for at a forced sale, but what he would be will- 
ing and would expect to accept for it if he were to dispose or sell it; 
and it shall be the duty of the assessor to report, on oath, to the board 
of supervisors, at the first meeting of the board after completing his 
roll, or so soon thereafter as possible, a list of all valuations made by 
owners of property which are in his opinion below the actual cash 
value of the property, with the names of the parties making the valu- 
ations; ancl it shall be the duty of the board to examine the list, and, 
upon discovery of undervaluation of any property, the board shall in- 
crease the valuation as it may deem just and proper; and in case that 
it shall deem that the undervaluation was made wilfully, to escape the 
taxation to which the property undervalued is justly liable, to report 
the facts of each case, with the names of the person or persons by 
whom made, to the grand jury of the next circuit court of the county. 
Section 4276 of the 1906 Code declares : 100 

If the assessor think that any person has not given in a correct 
statement of his credits or choses in action, or any other property, 
he shall report the same to the board of supervisors, with the grounds 
of his belief, and the board may require such person to produce be- 
fore it his books or other evidence, and, after full investigation, the 
board may cause a proper assessment to be made of the choses in ac- 
tion or credits or other property of such person. 

Basing their failure to do so on the provisions in the law, the 
assessors too frequently do not attempt to fix values; the prop- 
erty owner fixes his own valuation, and unless, as is seldom 
done, the valuation is changed by the Board of Supervisors the 
property owners' conscience is the only safe-guard against 
wholesale undervaluations. The State Tax Commission recom- 

W A statute (laws 1888, p 24) dividing the counties into classes and 
the lands therein into sub-classes, fixing, according to quality, a 
maximum and minimum value for taxation on the lands in the 
several classes, and confining the assessor to the limits so fixed, 
violated Art. 5, Sec. 21, constitution 1869, providing for an assessor 
for each county, and Art. 12, Sec. 20, same, requiring property to 
be taxed according to value, Hawkins v. Mangum, 78 Miss., 97 
(28 So., 872). 

m See also Sections 4265, 4266, 4267, Code. 


mended to the legislature that the sections of the Code which 
permit this practice, contrary to the constitution it seems, 
" should be so changed that it would be the assessor's duty to place 
a valuation on each assessment, and so list it on the roll in order 
that the honest tax-payer may have the proper protection 
against the tax-dodger. ' ,101 

It was stated that the lack of official and political im- 
munity has influenced to considerable degree, the actions of 
some assessors. 102 The assessor is usually in the role of a candi- 
date for office practically all the time; this fact has its weight 
in the official actions of the average assessor. It seems reasona- 
ble that examinations to test the fitness of candidates and more 
substantial compensation would help to remedy this situation. 

The last handicap of the assessing office was said to be the 
result of usage, local customs and "the exigencies of personal 
consideration. ' no3 It goes without saying that these factors do 
enter the problem, with no small degree of harmful influence. 
The practice of the assessor in merely copying from year to year 
a considerable portion of the assessment roll, without consid- 
eration of changes of value, say for example, in the case of land 
recently cleared and put in cultvation, is but one instance of 
the harm that results from the assessor's proclivities to follow 
usage and local custom. 

In exercising equalizing and general supervisory powers 
over assesments within the various counties the Board of Super- 
visors are as important fiscal agents as the assessors. Section 170 
of the state constitution which establishes the office of county 
supervisor reads as follows: 10 * 

. Each county shall be divided into five districts. A resident free- 
holder of each district shall be selected, in the manner prescribed by 
law, and the five so chosen shall constitute the board of supervisors 
of the county, a majority of whom may transact business. The board 
of supervisors shall have full jurisdiction over roads, ferries, bridges, 
to be exercised in accordance with such regulations as the legislature 

,01 Rpt. State Tax Commission to legislature 1918, p. 17. 
102 Supra., p. 208. 
m Supra., p. 208. 

lw Const. 1890, Sec. 291; See Const. 1832, Art. IV, Sec. 120 and second 
amendment; Const. 1869, Art. IV, Sec. 20. 


may prescribe, and perform such other duties as may be required by 
law. The clerk of the chancery court of each county shall be clerk of 
the board of supervisors. 

In regulating the eligibility of members of boards of supervisors 
the law requires that no person shall be a member of the board 
of supervisors "who is not a resident free holder in the district 
for which he is chosen, and the owner of real estate of the value 
of three hundred dollars." 105 

The board of supervisors is given, among other important 
fiscal powers, the power "to levy such taxes as may be neces- 
sary to meet the demands of their respective counties, upon 
such persons and property as are subject to state taxes for the 
time being not exceeding the limit that may be prescribed by 
law." 106 The board of supervisors may levy various special 
taxes as provided by law. 107 But from the point of view of taxa- 
tion in exercising the equalizing and general supervisory pow- 
ers over assessments the work of the board of supervisors is ex- 
tremely important. The law requires that this be done by the 
board of supervisors. 103 

The total number of members of the boards of supervisors 
of the eighty-two counties of the state is 410. Of this number 
of elected officials, with the only restriction being "resident 
freeholder in the district for which he is chosen and the owner 
of real estate of the value of three hundred dollars, ' ' quite nat- 
urally many of those elected are incompetent to fulfill the duties 
of the office. The Report of the Joint Legislative Committee 
on fiscal affairs made to the 1918 legislature said regarding the 
personnel of board of supervisors : 109 

Acting in conjunction with assessors, the county boards of super- 
visors are called upon to discharge the bravest obligation which may 
devolve upon any public official, that of safeguarding the raising and 
disbursing of the public revenue. Yet so lightly does the sense of 
such, responsibiltiy rest upon the voting conscience of the community, 
that idlers, misfits, incompetents, business failures and professional 
politicians are frequently placed in an office the duties of which de- 
mand an exceptionally high order of executive and administrative jur^g- 

,<K Cocie 1906, Sec. 292. 

""Code 1906, Sec. 307; See Laws 1896, Ch. 132. 

10T See Sections 331, 368, 375, 388, 396, 397. 

'"•Code 1906, Sections 4296, 4299, 4312. 

"•Rept Joint Comm. House and Senate, 1918, p. 28. 


ment and ability * * * * There have been and are now county 
boards composed in whole or in part of excellent and capable men. 
But the general average of the state has been and is now distressingly 
low, and the counties as a whole are suffering in consequence of the 

The 1918 report of the State Tax Commission, however, 
places the greater part of its criticism upon methods, as prac- 
ticed under the law and through custom, rather than upon the 
qualifications of the average member of the boards of super- 



The matter of raising the standard of the personnel will 
perhaps have to come through an awakening of the general 
public and the voter to the importance of the office of super- 
visor. Many suggestions have been made as to how the work of 
the boards of supervisors as at present constituted might be 
made more effective. One is that the president of the board of 
supervisors be paid a monthly salary, instead of a small per 
diem as at present, and that he therefore be required to give 
more of his time to the important work of the board of super- 
visors than heretofore has been done. 111 Another suggestion is 
that for the duty of equalizing individual taxes there be estab- 
lished County Equalization Boards. This suggestion is found in 
the report made in 1918 to the legislature by the State Tax 
Commission, which was as follows : 112 

If the legislature wishes to enact a law which will adjust inequali- 
ties of individual assessments, such provision should be made as will 
take the matter as far as possible out of local politics, and provide for 
County Equalizers, who have the educational qualifications and hon- 
esty of purpose to do what is fair and just by all concerned, without 
fear or favor A law providing for the appointment of two County 
Equalizers by the State Tax Commission, and providing that the coun- 
ty assessor be ex-officio member of the County Equalization Board and 
Chairman of the same, will create the proper system of County Equali- 

" As has been noted, 113 Mississippi has the general property 
tax. The constitution requires that taxation shall be "uniform 
and equal throughout the state;" that "property shall be taxed 
in proportion to its value;" and that " property shall be 

ai0 Pp. 6, 7, 8. 

m Rpt. Joint Comm. House and Senate, 1918, p. 29. 

"'Page 6. 

"'Supra., p. 197ff. 


assessed for taxes under general laws, and by uniform rules, ac- 
cording to its true value." 114 The result of the general proper- 
ty tax in Mississippi, according to the Joint Committee of the 
Senate and House as shown in the report 115 made to the legisla- 
ture in 1918, have been (1) that deficits have occurred during 
the past twenty years; (2) that it has produced inequality in 
valuations; (3) that wholesale and universal evasion and tax- 
dodging have resulted; and (4) that "the proposition that all 
property, regardless of its kind or class should be taxed equally 
and uniformly * * * * is utterly unenforceable." 

Besides quoting facts and figures from the experience in 
Mississippi to substantiate these charges against the general 
property tax, the Joint Committee quotes from the Supreme 
Court of the United States, 116 from the 1908 report of the 
Louisiana Tax Commission, and from Professors Edwin R. A. 
Seligman and Richard T. Ely concerning the deficiencies of the 
general property tax. 117 The recommendation of the committee 
to the legislature was that the general property tax be abolished, 
and that the classified property tax be adopted. 118 

The 1918 session of the legislature by concurrent resolu- 
tion referred the question of adopting the classified property 
tax to the voters. Accordingly at the November election in 1918, 
the proposition was submitted to decide whether Section 112 of 
the constitution should be amended to read as follows: 119 

Section 112. The power of taxation shall never be surrendered, 
suspended, or contracted away. All taxes shall be uniform upon the 
same class of property within the territorial limits of the authority 
levying the tax, and shall be levied and collected for public purposes 
only, but property shall never be assessed for taxes for more than its 
true value. The legislature shall have power to divide property into 
classes for the purpose of taxation. The legislature may impose a per 
capita tax upon such domestic animals as from their nature and habits 
are destructive of property. All exemptions shall be by general law. 
The legislature may provide for a special mode of assessment for rail- 

"'Const., 1890, Art 4, Sec. 112; see Const. 1869, Art. XII, Sec. 20. 
m Pp. 33-37. 

'"Pacific Express v. Seibert, 142, U. S. 351; p. 37, of the Report. 
"'Report of the Commission, 1918, p. 38. 
"'Ibid., pp. 37-40. 

"•Laws 1918, Ch. 188, pp. 209-210, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 



roads, and other public service corporations, or other corporate prop- 
erty, or for particular species of property belonging to persons, cor- 
porations or associations. 

By a substantial majority the amendment was rejected at the 

In order that corporations might be taxed in proportion to 
their earnings, and that the taxes on corporations be such that 
money invested in them should not pay a higher rate of taxa- 
tion than money invested in similar enterprises, it was recom- 
mended by the Joint Committee that the question of eliminat- 
ing from the constitution Section 181 be submitted to the voters 
at the November 1918 election. The legislature failed to pro- 
vide for submitting this question to the voters. 

Several other important fiscal measures were passed by the 
1918 session of the legislature. Acts bearing directly upon the 
work of the State Tax Commission were as follows : 

(1) An act (a) providing that at the expiration of the term 
of office of the present encumbents their successors shall be ap- 
pointed, one for two years, one for four years, and one for six 
years. The term of office remains, as provided by the original 
act, four years; 120 (b) empowerng the state board to employ ex- 
pert accountants; 121 (c) providing two clerks; 123 requiring the 
State Tax Commission to accumulate a library on revenue laws, 
fiscal matters and taxation, to be preserved in their office and 
turned over to their successors; 123 (d) providing for the publi- 
cation and free distribution to all revenue officers of the state all 
new revenue laws enacted; 124 (e) authorizing the state board to 
prepare and furnish forms for obtaining the information pro- 
vided for by law concerning the amount of fire insurance car- 
ried on buildings and on personal property of every description, 
and forms for the listing of property of all kinds (except banks. 
and insurance companies) for taxation; 125 (f) requiring that 

"°Laws 1918, Cr. 228, Sec. 1, p. 287. 
^Laws 1918, Ch. 228, Sec. 2, p. 288. 
,a2 Ibid., Sec. 3. 
^Ibid., Sec. 4. 
"♦Ibid., Sec. 5. 
^Ibid., Sec. 6. 



the State Tax Commission make biennial report to the legisla- 
ture direct, and not through the auditor. 126 

(2) An act authorizing boards of supervisors of all coun- 
ties to employ, in their discretion, timber estimators for assist- 
ing in assessing timber subject to taxation. 127 

(3) An act authorizing the attorney general of the state 
and the district attorneys to represent the tax commission. 128 

(4) An act providing more reasonable time in which re- 
assessments of land may be made. 129 

(5) An act making the State Tax Commission assessors of 
railroads and other public service corporations, and providing 
for the filing of schedules. 130 

(6) An act authorizing the State Tax Commission to assess 
inheritance taxes. 131 

(7) Acts regulating matters pertaining to the form of tax 
lists, assessment rolls, and the like. 132 

It has not been the purpose of this chapter to discuss every 
phase of the fiscal problem of the state, but rather to examine, 
briefly, the way in which the system of taxation as it exists is 
administered. By and large, the ways in which revenue laws are 
administered is of greater importance than any other phase of 
the fiscal problem. It has been seen that decentralization char- 
acterized the fiscal administration of the state up to the passage 
of the law of 1916 creating a State Tax Commission, the pur- 
pose of which was to bring about a degree of central control in 
order that a more unified and a more equitable system of taxa- 
tion might be brought about. The centralization of administra- 
tion which would come as a result of the proper enforcement of 
the law creating the State Tax Commission, would it seems cer- 
tain, after some apparently necessary amendments to the law 
and after time is allowed for necessary readjustments, bring 

'"Ibid., Sec. 9, See Sec. 9 regarding publicity of certain information. 
:m Laws 1918, Ch. 185, S. B. No. 485. See Laws 1910, H. B. No. 726, 

Ch. 268, Sec. 2. 
'"Laws 1918, Ch. 238, S. B. No. 440. 
m Laws 1918, Ch. 136, S. B. No. 310. 
""Laws 1918, Ch. 138, S. B. No. 477. 
"'Laws 1918, Ch. 109, H. B. No. 556, Sec. 3, p. 96. 
OT Laws 1918, Ch. 120, 134, 135, 207. 


good results. The taxing system of the state is unquestionably 
in great need of revision. The plan as contained in the 1916 
law creating the State Tax Commission has been very vigorous- 
ly attacked. 133 Some form of centralized control over the eighty- 
two counties and the numerous other taxing units is manifestly 
necessary if improvement is to be made. If the plan under the 
1916 law, with amendments from time to time as in the- judg- 
ment of the legislature may seem necessary, 134 is not retained, 
then some other system embodying a reasonable amount of cen- 
tralized administrative control must sooner or later be adopted. 

m Supra., p. 204. The Washington County Board refused to carry 
the instructions as to the personal roll for 1916. This was the test 
case, and the supreme court of the state sustained the constitu- 
tionality of the law. See, State ex rel vs. Wheatley, 113 Miss., 555; 
113 Miss., 595. See also, Case No. 20096 on the docket of the su- 
preme court; Minute Book 20, minutes of the circuit court of 
Washington County; order entered at p. 93, minute book "U" of 
the minutes of the supreme court of Miss. See Memphis Commer- 
cial Appeal, July 13, 1919, for an article against the plan under the 
1916 law; and the issue of July 29, 1919, for an article for the re- 
tention of the plan. 

134 0r by constitutional amendment if, as some contend, this should 
be necessary. 




The health interests of the State did not constitute a defi- 
nite phase of public administration in Mississippi until com- 
pratively recent years. With the increse of population the con- 
servation of public health has become a bigger problem than 
when the state was more sparsely settled ; and this is true in spite 
of the fact that the state still remains essentially rural ; for al- 
though not subject to the many vexing problems of health and 
sanitation contingent upon the concentration of large masses of 
people within small areas, the rural community has neverthe- 
less its own peculiar problems, to a great extent, a result of en- 
vironment, just as is the case with the cities. 

Local initiative and interest, for many years after the estab- 
lishment of the state government entirely in control of matters 
of health, remain at the present time controlling elements in the 
administration of this important branch of the state govern- 
ment. Yet there has been a considerable degree of centraliza- 

The Revised Code of 1871 contained provisions concerning 
public health: (1) making it an offense punishable by fine and 
imprisonment for any person to wilfully and knowingly bring 
into the state smallpox, or any other contagious or infectious 
disease; 1 and making it an offense punishable by fine for any 
smallpox patient in the state to go among other people, until af- 
ter having obtained a certificate of recovery from a physician ; 2 
(2) giving the coroner, at the written request of a majority of 
the jurors, whenever necessary in order, to ascertain the cause 
of death, the right to "cause a physician to appear as a witness 
upon the taking of such inquest," and providing for remnuera- 
tion for such professional services; 3 (3) denying the privilege 

'Section 2719. 
Section 2738. 
•Section 253. 


of practising medicine to any person convicted of any felony, 
unless after full pardon for the same;" 4 (4) prescribing pun- 
ishment by fine and imprisonment of any butcher or merchant 
convicted of selling unwholesome provisions. 5 

The first law passed by the legislature providing for the ap- 
pointment of health officers was enacted by the legislature of 
1876. The statute was entitled ' ' An act more effectually to pro- 
tect the health of the citizens of the State. ' ' 6 By the provisions 
of this act the Board of Supervisors of Jackson, Harrison and 
Hancock Counties — the counties bordering on the Gulf of Mex- 
ico were authorized and required to appoint a board of health, 
consisting of one lawyer, one merchant, and not over five phy- 
sicians who should be "graduates of some medical college of 
good standing." 7 It was made the duty of these county boards 
to select a physician to act as quarantine physician and health of- 
ficer at all ports of the state in these counties. The quarantine 
physician was required by law to establish a quarantine at such 
ports, • ' which quarantine shall commence on the first day of 
May, and continue until the 15th day of November, and for such 
further length of time as said board of health may deem requi- 
site and necessary to prevent the introduction of contagious, in- 
fectious and other diseases among the citizens of the State." 8 
In order to make the quarantine effective, the law made it the 
duty of the quarantine physician to inspect all vessels arriving, 
and to quarantine any vessel which shall have visited or de- 
parted from any port at which was prevailing any contagious, 
infectious or other disease likely to prove detrimental to the 
health of the State. 9 

The first definite step toward establishing a degree of cen- 
tralized control in the administration of public health affairs 
of the state was taken by the legislature in 1877, when by an act 
approved February first there was created a State Board of 

Section 2865. 

•Sections 2703-2704. 

•Laws 1876, Ch. LXXII, Sees. 1-13, pp. 87-90. 

T Laws 1876, Ch. LXXII, Sec. 1. 

•Ibid., Sec. 2. 

•Ibid., Sec. 3. 



Health "for the protection of life and health, and to prevent 
the spread of disease in the State of Mississippi." 10 Under the 
provisions of this act the governor was authorized to appoint 
twelve physicians upon the recommendation of the State Medi- 
cal Association, two from each Congressional District, "who for 
the time being, shall be Sanitary Commissioners for the said dis- 
trict, and the said Sanitary Commissioners, together with their 
three other physicians to be selected and appointed by the Gov- 
ernor, who shall be Sanitary Commissioners for the State at 
large shall constitute a Board of Health." 11 The term of office 
was made for six years, a part of the board being renewed 
every two years. The chief duties of the Board of Health 
were, in addition to quarantine duties, those of collecting vital 
statistics and of advising public authorities in regard to sanita- 
tion of public institutions and buildings. 12 The law required the 
Board to make an annual report to the governor, who in turn 
was required to transmit the report to the legislature. 13 

The law creating the State Board of Health made no ap- 
propriation in aid of it. The success of the Board therefore de- 
pended upon the degree to which the personnel of the Board 
would give of their time to a "labor of professional pride and 
personal humanity. ' ' 14 The board was organized and began 
work, which at the beginning was almost entirely of an investiga- 
tory nature. In order to reach the various sections of the state, 
one member in each congressional district was called on to re- 
port the local needs. 15 

By an act passed by the legislature in 1878 the State Board 
of Health was reorganized. The most important feature of the 
plan of reorganization under this act was the provision made for 
auxiliary local boards in every county and main town. 

"Laws 1877, Ch. XL, pp. 60-64. 

"Laws 1877, Ch. XL, Sec. 1. 

"Ibid., Sees. 5, 6. 

"Ibid., Sec. 8. 

"For. a list of the personnel of the first State Board of Health, see 

Ency. Miss., Vol. I, pp. 853-854, Rowland. 
"See Ency. Miss., Vol. I, p. 854, Rowland. 


The outbreak of smallpox in the southern part of the state 
in 1878 made it necessary for the newly organized Board to do 
active work immediately, especially in view of the fact that there 
was a yellow fever epidemic during the same year. Following 
the meeting of the board on April 3, 1878, an active compaign 
against this contagious disease was entered upon. One of the 
results of the work of the board during these epidemics was a 
recommendation for more efficient quarantine laws, and a 
memorial transmitted to congress asking that a national quaran- 
tine to supplement and strengthen the state quarantines be pro- 
vided so that contagious diseases might be more effectively com- 
batted. 16 

In 1879 the State Board of Health adopted the rules of local 
and general quarantine proposed by the national board of 
health. An epidemic of yellow fever during this year called for 
extra effort on the part of the board, Owing to the improved 
organization of the health forces of the state, this epidemic was 
kept under better control than had been possible during some 
of the previous experiences. 17 

By act of the legislature approved March 4, 1880, the laws 
of 1877 creating the State Board of Health, and the act of 1878 
which amended the law of the previous year, were materially 
changed. 18 That part of f he act of 1877 which provided that 
there should be a State Board of Health, consisting of two 
physicians from each congressional district selected by the gov- 
ernor on recommendation of the State Medical Association, and 
three physcians selected by the governor from the state at large, 
was not repealed. The supervisory power of the board was 
strengthened by provision in the 1880 law for an executive com- 
mittee. The provision of the law was as follows : 19 

The state board of health may elect or appoint an executive com- 
mittee, to be composed of three of its members, with a chairman, to 
be designated by the board, from the members appointed on said com- 

"Ency. Miss. Vol. 1, p. 854, Rowland. 

"Ibid., p. 855. See Miss. Ency. Vol. II, pp. 1013-1021 for historical 

sketch of yellow fever epidemics in Miss. 
"Laws 1880, Ch. XXXII, pp. 160-169. 
"Ibid., Sec. 3. 


mittee; and said executive committee shall have authority to execute 
any and all the powers herein vested in said board, whenever in cases 
of emergency in the opinion of said executive committee the public in- 
terests require such action. 

Under the law of 1880 the board retained supervisory power 
over all acts of the executive committee. 

Further centralized control was brought about by the 1880 
statute when it was provided that a chief health officer should 
be appointed in each county by the governor on the nomination 
of the State Board of Health. The county health officer's term 
was made two years, and his salary was fixed by the county 
board of supervisors; but it was provided in the law that the 
salary of the county health officer should never exceed the sal- 
ary of the superintendent of education of the same county. In- 
terior counties " remote from railways, navigable streams and 
sea coast, and having a sparse population," could be exempt from 
the part of the statute requiring a county health officer, if after 
applying through the board of supervisors to the State Board of 
Health it was deemed by the State Board prudent to grant such 
exemption. 20 The governor was given the power at any time, 
on the recommendation of the State Board of Health, to remove 
any county health officer and appoint a successor in the mode 
prescribed for the appointment of such officers. 21 

The duties of the State Board under the 1880 law were 
very much the same as under the law of 1877. The State Board 
was given some additional power, especially over local health 
boards, e. g., the State Board under the law of 1880 could re- 
quire information from local boards, whereas formerly local 
boards had been free to report to the State Board at their op- 
tion. County health officers were required to report to the State 
Health Board " every matter involving the health of the coun- 
ty, to examine and report in regard to the ventilation of thea- 
tres, city halls and public buildings generally, in regard to pres- 
ervation of human life in case of fire; to make report of mat- 
ters needing attention in public schools for the preservation of 

••Laws 1880, Ch. XXXII, Sec. 12. 
"Ibid, Sec. 13. 



the health of the pupils ; to report in regard to any matter cal- 
culated to affect injuriously the public health, and to report 
generally in regard to the public health of his county. 22 The 
State Board of Health upon receiving report from county health 
authorities of any matter calculated to produce or spread any 
epidemic, endemic, or contagious disease was authorized to de- 
clare the same a nuisance, and through the district attorney to 
have the same abated as a nuisance. 23 

Prior to the passage of the law of 1880 the state health 
authorities had usually been handicapped on account of a lack 
of funds with which to prosecute necessary work. By Section 
18 of the 1880 statute the sum of $25,000 was appropriated for 
the payment of all expenses connected with the carrying out of 
proper quarantine measures. 

In response to constant demands from the State Board of 
Health and from the majority of practising physicians of the 
state, the legislature of 1882 passed an act to regulate the prac- 
tice of medicine. 24 The State Board of Health was given auth- 
ority to regulate the qualifications of candidates for license to 
practice, as well as power to revoke license for good cause. For 
the purpose of examining applicants for license to practice medi- 
cine, there was created for each congressional district of the 
state a Board of Censors composed of the two Sanitary Com- 
missioners of the district. The State Board of Health was given 
the power of review over all acts of the boards of censors, where 
there occurred difference of opinion on the part of censors as to 
an applicant's qualifications, or where the applicant wished 
to take an appeal from the decision of a local board of censors. 

Over two hundred pages of the Mississippi Departmental 
Reports for the biennial period 1882 and 1883 are devoted to the 
report of the State Board of Health and the various local boards 
of health. 25 Among the recommendations of needed legislation 
in this report prominent place is given to the need of teaching 

"Laws 1880, Ch. XXXII, Sec. 8. 

B Ibid., Sec. 9. 

"Laws 1882, Ch. XIX, pp. 33-39. 

"Miss. Dept. Reports, 1882-1883, St. Bd. Health, pp. 1-204. 


hygiene and the laws of health in the schools ; to the necessity 
of prescribing qualifications for the practice of pharmacy; to 
the need of giving attention to drainage problems in order to 
reduce the prevalence of malaria in the state; and to the im- 
portance of a through system of registration of vital and mor- 
tuary statistics to be used as the basis of intelligent sanitary leg- 
islation. The report speaks of the general satisfaction over the 
passage by the previous legislature of a law to regulate the prac- 
tice of medicine. In his concluding report to the governor, 
which was a part of the general report, Dr. J. M. Taylor, presi- 
dent of the State Board of Health, called attention to the press- 
ing need of funds with which to carry on the work of the depart- 
ment. Dr. Taylor said, in part, in this connection : 26 

The law creating and establishing the State Board of Health is 
sufficiently comprehensive, and embraces almost everything that 
should be included in such laws. The board is clothed with all the 
authortiy that could be required for a most thorough sanitary admin- 
istration of the state. All that remains is for the legislature to supply 
the necessary facilities and means to execute the provisions of the law. 

For the next few years little change was made in the ad- 
ministrative organization of the public health forces of the 
state. But when the revised code of 1892 was adopted the chap- 
ter on Health and Quarantine contained important changes 
from the former organization. 

Under the provisions of the new code the State Board of 
Health was created, to consist of twelve physicians of skill, to 
be appointed as follows: One from each congressional district 
by the governor, upon evidence of skill and fitness for the posi- 
tion as may be satisfactory to him, the remaining five to be ap- 
pointed by the governor from the state at large, upon the rec- 
ommendation of the State Medical Association. All appoint- 
ments to the State Board of Health expired with the close of the 
term of the governor who made the appointments. 27 

Regarding the general duties of the board of health it was 
provided that: 28 

'Miss. Dept. Reports, 1882-1883, St. Bd. Health, pp. XI-XII. 
: Code 1892, Ch. 60, pp. 569-572, Sec. 2267. 
'Ibid., Sec. 2271. 



It is the duty of the state board of health to supervise the health 
interests of the people; to investigate the causes and means of pre- 
vention of endemic and epidemic diseases, the sources of mortality and 
the effect of localities, habits, employments, and conditions upon the 
public health; to investigate the sanitary conditions of schools, pris- 
ons, public institutions, and all public buildings and places of public 
resort, and to recommend such measures of sanitation for them as it 
may deem advisable; to prescribe rules and regulations for the con- 
duct of the county health-officers; to require of the county health of- 
ficers, of municipal boards of health, of physicians, of the managers or 
keepers of schools, prisons, public institutions and buildings or piaces 
of public resort, such sanitary information as may be useful; to col- 
lect and preserve such information relating to diseases and deaths as 
may be useful in the discharge of its duties, and to advise the state 
and all local governments in all hygienic matters. The board shall 
cause a secretary to keep a complete record of all its transactions, and 
to preserve all books, papers, documents, reports, correspondence, and 
other matters appertaining to its business. 

The State Board of Health was given power to abate as a 
nuisance anything which might prove detrimental to health con- 
ditions of any locality of the state. The district attorney was 
called upon to commence proceedngs by information at the re- 
quest of the State Board of Health. 29 The control of epidemic 
through quarantine was a power and duty of the State Board of 
Health. 30 

The law required that each county, except interior counties 
desiring to be exempt from the requirement and excused by the 
State Board of Health, have a county health officer. All county 
health officers were appointed by the state board of health. It 
was provided, however, that the county health officer should be 
a resident physican of the county in which he was to serve. 31 

It was made the duty of the county health officer ''to en- 
force the rules and regulations of the state board of health 
as to the health interests of his county; to examine, as far as 
practicable, into all cases of malarial, malignant, pestilential, in- 
fections, endemic, and epidemic diseases in his county, and the 
causes thereof; to investigate the sanitary condition of schools, 
prisons, market-houses, butcher stalls and all buildings and 
places of public resort and their surroundings, and, as far as 

"Code 1892, Ch. 60, pp. 570-571, Sec. 2277. 
"Ibid., Sees. 2278-2279. 
"Ibid., Sec. 2275. 


practicable, of everything affecting the health of the people of 
his county or that is calculated to do so, and suggest to the 
proper parties suitable sanitary measures ; to recommend to the 
governing authorities of the county, and of any city, town or 
village therein, such regulations as he may deem necessary to 
promote the health of the county, city, town, or village ; to re- 
port his actions and all information and the result of all investi- 
gations made by him to the State Board of Health, and to do 
such other things as the State Board of Health may lawfully 
require of him. ' ' 32 

Besides the State Board of Health and the county boards 
of health any city, town, or village was authorized to pass sani- 
tary laws, establish a board of health, and enforce the collection 
and registration of birth, health and mortuary statistics; but 
the rules and regulations made by municipal boards of health 
should always be " subject to and not inconsistent with the rules 
and regulations of the state board of health touching the health 
interests of the county in which such city, town, or village is 
situated." 33 

The compensation of members of the State Board of Health 
was a per diem of three dollars for each day actually spent in 
the discharge of duties ; each member of the board was also paid 
the actual necessary expenses incurred in attending the meet- 
ings of the board. 34 The secretary of the state board was paid 
five hundred dollars a year, which amount was payable quarter- 
ly. 35 The county health officer received for his services "reas- 
onable compensation, the same to be a per diem, to be fixed by 
the board of supervisors of his county, and which shall be paya- 
ble semi-annually, on an itemized account, out of the county 
treasury. ' ' 36 By judicial decision, a board of supervisors could 
not fix, or reduce after being fixed, the salary of the county 

"Code 1892, Ch. 60, pp. 570-571, Sec. 2276. 

''Code 1892, Ch. 60, pp. 570-571, Sec. 2281. Also see Sec. 2950. 

"Ibid., Sec. 2282. 

"Ibid., Sec. 2283. 

"Ibid., Sec. 3285. 


health officer so as virtually to abolish the office. 37 

The penalty for the intentional violation by any person of 
any rule or regulation of the State Board of Health was a mis- 
demeanor, punishable, on conviction, by a fine not exceeding 
fifty dollars, or imprisonment in the county jail not more than 
one month, or both. 38 

The legislature in 190-1 passed an act to amend section 2267 
of the code of 1892 in reference to the State Board of Health. 
The only effect, however, of this change was to make the total 
number of members of the board thirteen instead of twelve. 
When the code of 1892 was adopted there were seven congres- 
sional districts, and it was provided that there should be ap- 
pointed one physician from each district and five from the 
state at large, making a total of twelve. The law of 1904 was 
enacted subsequent to the re-districting of the state creating 
the eighth congressional district. Under the provisions of this 
act the governor was to select one physician from each congres- 
sional district and five from the state at large, making a total 
of thirteen members. 39 

The only reference to public health in the constitution of 
the state is found in Section 86, 40 where it is provided that "it 
shall be the duty of the legislature to provide by law for the 
treatment and care of the insane ; and the legislature may pro- 
vide for the care of the indigent sick in the hospitals of the 
state. ' ' 

The plan of organization for state, county, and municipal 
public health administration contained in the code of 1906 is 
substantially the same as that in the code of 1892. 41 

Associated with the State Board of Health in efforts to con- 
serve the public health of the state are the State Board of Phar- 
macists Examiners, the State Board of Dental Examiners, the 

"DeSoto Co. v. Westbrook, 64 Miss., 312; Yandell v. Madison Co., 81 

Miss., 288 (32 So. 918). 
"Code 1892, Ch. 60, Sec. 2287. 
••Laws 1902, Ch. 150, S. B. No. 171, p. 208. Redisricting followed 1910 

"Const. 1890, Art 4. See Art. XII, Sec, 27. 
"Code 1906, Ch. 64, pp. 751-757. 


State Board of Nurses Examiners, the State Board of Embalm- 
ing, the State Chemist, the State Factory Inspector, the State 
Livestock Sanitary Board, and the State Board of Veterinary 

The State Board of Pharmacists Examiners was created in 
1906. 42 The board consists of five practicing pharmacists who 
are appointed by the governor. The term of office of all mem- 
bers of the board expires with that of the governor appointing 
them. 43 The only duty of this board is that of examining and 
passing upon the qualifications of candidates to practise phar- 
macy . A license to practice in the state is issued to those who 
qualify on the examination. 44 

The State Board of Dental Examiners was first provided 
for by the revised code of 1892. It was there provided that the 
board of dental examiners should consist of five practicing den- 
tists appointed by the governor to serve during the governor's 
term of office. 45 By act of the legislature in 1904 the law was 
so amended that the board should consist of five members ap- 
pointed by the governor who should be practicing dentists "who 
are graduates from a reputable dental college." 48 Other amend- 
ments of minor importance were made by the 1904 statute. 47 

The State Board of Nurses Examiners had its origin in -an 
act passed by the legislature in 1914 entitled "An act to regu- 
late the practice of professional nursing in the State of Missis- 
sippi, to create a board of nurses examiners, to require the ex- 
amination and registration of those desiring to practice in this 
state as registered nurses, or license attendants and to provide 
for the punishment of offenders against this act. 48 The board 
consists of five members appointed by the governor four of 
whom must be graduate nurses and one of whom must be a phy- 
sician. 49 In making appointments? however, the governor is 

"Laws 1896, p. 82. 

"Code 1906, Ch. 109, Sees. 3667-3668. 

"Ibid., Sec. 3671. 

"Code 1892, Ch. 32, Sec. 1528. 

"Laws 1904, Ch. 145, Sec. 1. 

4T Secs. 1531, 1532 and 1540, Code 1892, amended. 

"Laws 1914, Ch. 129, H. B. No. 296, pp. 149-155. 

"Ibid., Sec. 1. 



restricted under the provisions of Section 2 of the act, which 
declares that "within thirty days after the passage of this act, 
the graduate nurses' association of Mississippi shall through its 
executive committee, submit to the governor a list containing 
the names of two physicians who must be regularly licensed and 
of good standing in their profession, together with the names of 
eight graduate nurses who shall have practiced not less than two 
years exclusive of training, and the governor shall appoint the 
members of the board from said list. ' ' Members of the board of 
nurses' examiners serve five years, except in case of the first 
board where one member was appointed to hold office for one 
year, one for two years, one for three years, one for four years, 
and one for five years. 50 As compensation the members of the 
board receive a per diem of five dollars for each day actually 
engaged in the performance of their duties. They are also al- 
lowed traveling and other necessary expenses incurred while on 
duty. 51 Certificates are issued by the board to those successfully 
passing the examination. The board is also given the power 
to revoke certificates for certain causes. 52 

The State Board of Embalming, created by act of the leg- 
islature in 1918, consists of seven members. The executive of- 
ficer of the State Board of Health, and the director of the Bu- 
reau of Vital Statistics are ex-officio members of the board ; the 
other five members of the board are appointed by the governor. 
The term of office for members of the board is four years, 
except for the members of the first board whose terms were made 
one for one year, one for two years, one for three years, and 
two for four years. The law requires that all members of the 
board of embalming shall be residents of the state of Mississippi, 
and that no person shall be appointed a member of the board 
who has not had at least five years experience in the practice of 
embalming and the care of and the disposition of dead human 
bodies. Members are eligible for reappointment. The governor 

"Laws 1914, Ch. 129, H. B. No. 296, Sec. 3. 

"Ibid., Sec. 16. 
"Ibid., Sec. 25. 



may remove from office any member of the board for neglect 
of duty, incompetency or improper conduct. 53 The chief du- 
ties of the board of embalming are to prescribe, a standard of 
efficiency as to the qualifications of those engaging in the prac- 
tice of embalming in connection with the care and disposition 
of dead human bodies in the state ; to license those- who are 
qualified and who apply for permission to practice embalming; 
and to make rules and regulations concerning the practice of 
embalming. 54 For the violtion of any such rules and regula- 
tions the State Board of Health may revoke the license which 
has been granted by the board of embalming. 

Section 2245 of the revised code of 1906 provides that the 
professor of chemistry at the Agricultural and Mechanical Col- 
lege is State Chemist. 55 Under the provisions of the code of 
1906 the State Chemist's duties were chiefly those pertaining 
to fertilizer analysis. 57 The legislature of 1910 enacted a statute 
which was entitled "An act prohibiting the manufacture, sale, 
offering for sale, or having in possession with intent to sell, adul- 
terated, misbranded, insufficiently labelled or deleterious food 
and providing for the inspection and analysis of foods and the 
enforcement of the provisions of this act. ' ' 57 In this act it was 
provided : 58 

That it shall be the duty of the State Chemist to fix and publish 
standards of purity for food products, which standards shall be those 
promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the 
Treasury, and the Secretary of Commerce and Labor of the United 
States. When no standards have been promulgated as aforesaid, they 
shall be fixed by the State Chemist 

The State Chemist is charged with the enforcement of the 
law. It is required that under his supervision the inspection, 
collection, examination, and analysis of specimens of food shall 
be crried out to determine whether such articles are adulterated, 

"Laws 1918, Ch. 223, pp. 279-283. 

"Ibid., Sees. 4, 5, 8. 

"Code 1906, p. 695, See Laws 1882, p. 44; Laws 1888, p. 53; Code 1892, 

Ch. 48. 

"Laws 1910, Ch. 132, S. B. No. 108, pp. 119-123. 
"Ibid., Sec. 6. 


misbranded or insufficiently labeled. 59 In order to properly 
carry on this work it is provided that such inspectors and chem- 
ists as are absolutely necessary shall be appointed by the Presi- 
dent and Board of Trustees of the Agricultural and Mechanical 
College on recommendation of the State Chemist. 60 The Dis- 
trict Attorney is required by law to co-operate with the State 
Chemist in enforcing the provisions of the statute. 61 

The legislature of 1912 passed an act to regulate the em- 
ployment of children in mills, factories, canneries, and manu- 
facturing establishments. 62 The enforcement of the terms of 
this statute were left to the county sheriff and the county health 
officer. 63 By act of the legislature in 1914 the office of State 
Factory Inspector was created. 64 This law provides that the 
State Board of Health shall appoint and may remove for cause 
a special inspector who shall have the title of factory inspector 
"and who shall be a person having competent knowledge of 
factories and capable of performing the duties" prescribed for 
the State Factory Inspector. 65 The statute provides that : 66 

It shall be the duty of the factory inspector to inspect all fac- 
tories and canneries where women and children are employed at least 
three times each year. Such inspector shall collect evidence of viola- 
tions of the laws of the state relating to the employment of women 
and children, and furnish such information to the county or district 
attorney in the county in which said violation occurred. Such inspec- 
tor shall report annually, under the direction of the secretary of the 
state board of health, the number of women and children employed 
in the different cotton and knitting mills and canneries in the state, 
and the number of violations found and disposition of each. 

In conserving the health of the public it is necessary that 
supervision be exercised over the health conditions of certain 
animals. The State Livestock Sanitary Board was created by 
act of the legislature in 1908. 67 This board was established 

M Ibid., Sec. 7. 


"Ibid., Sec. 9. 

"Laws 1912, Ch. 165, pp. 173-175. 

"Laws 1912, Ch. 165, Sees. 4-5. 

"Laws 1914, Ch. 163, S. B. No. 526, pp. 209-212. 

"Ibid., Sec. 1. 

"Ibid., Sec. 3. 

"Laws 1908, Ch. 106, H. B. No. 218. 



"to consist of the Commissioner of Agriculture and €ommerce, 
who shall be ex-officio chairman of the same; the Professor of 
Animal Husbandry at the Agricultural and Mechanical College, 
who shall be State Veterinarian; and in addition to these, two 
other members who shall be appointed by the Governor as rep- 
resentatives of the live stock breeders of the state to serve for 
four years or until their successors have been duly appointed 
and qualified." 68 The board is given absolute power to deal 
with infectious diseases of animals and sufficient penalty is at- 
tached for the violation of the rules laid down by the board to 
secure compliance thereto. 69 

As indicated in the appropriation bills for the support of 
the State Livestock Sanitary Board, the activities of this board 
are chiefly ' ' in the work of tick eradication, hog cholera, bovine 
tuberculosis, and other infectious and contagious and communi- 
cable diseases; supplying hog cholera serum to the people of 
Mississippi in accordance with the laws governing same and 
handling outbreaks of infectious and contagious diseases of live 
stock." 70 The amounts appropriated for this work since the 
establishment of the State Livestock Sanitary Board have been 
as follows : for 1908 and 1909 $2,500 a year ; 71 for 1910 and 1911 
a total of $40,000 ; 72 for 1912 and 1913 a total of $40,193.50, 73 
with a proviso authorizing the governor if necessary in case of 
an outbreak of hog cholera to borrow an additional $10,000 for 
the use of the board; for 1914 and 1915 a total of $40,000 ; 74 
for 1916 and 1917 a total of $35,000 ; 75 and for 1918 and 1919 a 
total of $50,000. 76 

The State Board of Veterinary Examiners was created by 
an act of the legislature approved March 28, 1914, to the prac- 

"Laws 1908, Ch. 106, H. B. No. 218, Sec. 1. 
■"Ibid., Sees. 3-4. 

T0 See e. g., Laws 1918, Ch. 45, p. 52. 
"Laws 1908, Ch. 41, p. 39. 
"Laws 1910, Ch. 42, p. 37. 

"Laws 1912, Ch. 33, p. 34, general appropriation; Ch. 76, p. 60, spe- 
cial appropriation to pay deficit for labor of inspectors. 
"Laws 1914, Ch. 33, pp. 40-41. 
"Laws 1916, Ch. 33, p. 38. 
"Laws 1918, Ch. 45, pp. 51-52. 



tice of veterinary surgery, medicine and dentistry in the state. 77 
The Board is composed of five members whose term of office is 
four years. The personnel of the board is renewed gradually, 
for the laws required that the first board be appointed two for 
two years, two for three years, and one for four years. The 
governor appoints two members of the Board and the^ State 
Veterinary Medical Association selects the other three. No 
one can serve as a member of the Board unless he is a licensed 
or graduate veterinarian. 78 The chief duty of the Board is to 
examine candidates for license to practice as veterinarians and 
to revoke any license upon evidence that "the same was pro- 
cured by fraud, or that the holder of the license has been guilty 
of unprofessional or dishonorable conduct. ' ' 79 

The State Board of Health is organized in separate divi- 
sions. Each division has a responsible head, upon whom is 
imposed the duty of directing the work of that division. The 
five dicisions of the Board are (1) Division of Administration, 
(2) Division of Rural Sanitation, (3) Division of Hygienic 
Laboratory, (4) Division of Vital Statistics, (5) Division of 
Municipal Sanitation. 80 A brief examination of the activities 
of each division will indicate something as to the increasing im- 
portance that is being attached to public health actvities as a 
part of the public administration in the state. 

The work of the Division of Administration is carried on 
chiefly by the Executive Officer and the President of the Board. 
The activities of this division of the State Board of Health has 
for the past few j^ears been given chiefly to a campaign to en- 
lighten the people of the state upon matters of sanitation and 
the prevention of disease. The interest and assistance of the 
State Board of Education has been enlisted, and much good 
work has been done through the public schools. In the report 
of the State Board of Health for the biennial period 1915 to 

"Laws 1914, Ch. 130, H. B. No. 137, pp. 155-158. 

"Ibid., Sec. 2. 

"Ibid., Sees. 4-8. 

"Biennial Report State Board of Health, 1915-1917, p. 11. 



1917 something as to the nature of this work is indicated. In 
part the report says : 81 

During the past five or six years practically every school has been 
visited and in many instances two or more addresses have been de- 
livered by some representative of the Board of Health at each school. 
We have had the uniform interest and support of the teachers of the 
state in this educational work. Literature has been distributed to the 
schools from time to time. It is gratifying to state that the State Su- 
perintendent of Education has done everything possible to promote a 
wholesome cooperation between the public schools of the state and the 
State Board of Health. This means that during the coming years 
larger results will be achieved in getting the boys and girls of the 
State to understand and apply the principles of sanitation in every day 
life. Each summer the state and tri-county normals are visited, in 
the main, by a representative of the Board of Health and addresses are 
delivered on public health subjects to the teachers. During the past 
summer special attention has been given to the negro teachers. At 
the suggestion of Supt. Bona, a physical examination was made of the 
colored teachers assembled at the normals of the county health offi- 
cers of the counties in which the normals were conducted. The pur- 
pose of this examination is to determine the health condition of the 
colored teachers of the State; and, in time, to work out a system of 
education on sanitation for negro schools upon the most efficient basis. 

The campaign for better health conditions, upon invitation of 
the State Board of Health, has also been carried on in the col- 
leges of the state. The newspapers of the state have been called 
upon and have responded generously in this work. Other state 
and local agencies have cooperated in the campaign. Besides 
public health addresses by representatives of the State Board of 
Health, the Board has carried on its educational campaign 
through means of monthly and special health bulletins, leaflets 
on health subjects, demonstrations, health exhibits, conferences 
and correspondence. 82 

The Division of Rural Sanitation constitutes one of the 
most important branches of the public health service in the 
state. Over 80 per cent of the people of the state are country- 
dwellers and the rural community has its own peculiar sanita- 
tion and health problems. The sparse settlement in the rural 
community means too frequently that every family, often every 
individual, comes to think that the problems of sanitation and 
health are individual problems. It is more difficult to organize 

"Ibid., pp. 11-12. 

"Biennial Report State Board Health, 1915-1917, p. 12. 


rural communities than thickly settled communities. The 
work recently carried on by the Division of Rural Sanitation of 
the State Board of Health has been done in cooperation with the 
International Health Board, the Boards of Supervisors of the 
respective counties, and the entire personnel of the State Board 
of Health. 

Intensive community health work has been done in six 
counties by these cooperating agencies. These counties are 
Prentiss, Forrest, Pearl River, Jones, Hancock, and Jackson. 83 
The amount expended in carrying on this work has been appro- 
priated by the state legislature to be used by the State Board 
of Health for this specifiic purpose, 84 by the Board of Super- 
visors of the counties where the work was conducted, and by the 
International Health Board, each of these organizations making 
one-third of the total appropriation. To be exepended for this 
purpose during the years 1916 and 1917 the state legislature 
appropriated a total of $10,000 and for the years 1918 and 1919 
a total of $24,000. 85 Concerning the results obtained in this work 
the report of the State Board of Health for the biennium 1915- 
1917 says : 86 

An intensive health campaign in a county consists of taking up a 
county by communities. A careful survey is made of each community. 
This includes the visiting of every home in the community and a rec- 
ord is made relative to sanitary conditions. Not only is each home 
visited, but the name of every individual is made a matter of record. 
This campaign consists in the education of the public on preventive 
medicine and special work is done on the eradication of the soil pol- 
lution diseases; that is, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, hookworm, diar- 
rhoea, dysentery and cholera infantum. The water supply of the home 
is investigated and suggestions offered for making it safe. The fam- 
ilies are also urged to screen their homes for protection against flies 
and mosquitoes. The food supply of the home is also discussed in the 
prevention of pellagra and special literature distributed. 

One of the most important sanitary problems of every rural 
home in Mississippi is the proper disposition of human excreta. When- 

M Rept. State Board Health, biennial period 1915-1917, pp; 17 and 32. 

"Laws 1916, Ch. 52, pp. 51-52, Sec. 1, $5000 appropriated for rural 
sanitation and pellagra work for 1916 and the same amount for 
1917; Laws 1918, Ch. 49, p. 55, $12,000 appropriated for each of*the 
years 1918 and 1919, provided three times this amount be secured 
from other sources. 

"Ibid., see note 2 on preceding paga 

"Rept State Board Health, 1915-1917, pp. 16-17. 



ever this intensive community health work is done remarkable re- 
sults are achieved in getting the people to build sanitary privies. It 
is of interest to note that the work is accomplished with marked en- 
thusiasm on the part of the laity. By means of educational propaganda 
they are made to see that the building and use of a sanitary privy 
by a family means the ultimate control of typhoid fever, hookworm 
disease and other bowel troubles. 

The work of the Division of Hygienic Laboratory is con- 
ducted through the State Hygienic Laboratory. In cooperation 
with the medical profession of the state this division of the 
State Board of Health is rendering invaluable services to the 
people of the state. During the period 1915 to 1917 there were 
examined in the laboratory 29,150 specimens. To quote from the 
report for this period : 87 

All specimens are examined free of cost to the people of Missis- 
sippi. Any specimen is examined in the laboratory which involves the 
public health. This includes microscopic examinations of specimens 
in the diagnosis of tuberculosis, diphtheria, typhoid, malaria, hook- 
worm and other intestinal parasites, rabies, etc. In addition, hun- 
dreds of specimens of water and milk were examined, and also scores 
of examinations of a miscellaneous nature were made. 

In addition to work of this nature, the laboratory furnishes free 
of cost to the people of the state thousands of treatments of anti- 
typhoid vaccine; 58 treats, free of charge, cases of hydropho- 
bia; 89 and in other ways renders valuable service to the people 
of the state in maintaining better heath conditions. The labora- 
tory is, from a purely financial point of view, of great value 
to the state. 90 For each of the years 1916 and 1917 the appro- 
priation made by the legislature for the laboratory was $6,000. 91 
This amount was, in the opinion of the laboratory officials, 
wholly inadequate for meeting the demands upon the laboratory 
by the people of the state. 92 The mount appropriated for each 
of the years 1918 and 1919 was increased to $10,000. 93 

In order to work intelligently for the conservation of the 
public health an agency for the collection of vital statistics is 

"Rept. State Board Health, 1915-1916, p. 14. 

M Ibid., showing in one four-month period 20,000 treatments made and 

"Ibid., p. 14. 
-Ibid., pp. 14-15. 
•'Laws 1916, Ch. 52, p. 51, Sec. 1. 
"Rept. St. Board Health, 1915-1917, p. 15. 
"Laws 1918, Ch. 49, p. 55, Sec. 1. 


necessary. The Division of Vital Statistics was established as 
a permanent and legal part of the State Board of Health in the 
appropriation bill of 1912 providing for the expenses of the 
board. An item of $6000 was included in the appropriation bill 
of that year "for the establishment of a bureau of vital statis- 
tics for the year 1912. " 94 A similar amount was appropriated 
for this bureau for each of the years 1914, 1915, 1916 and 
1917. 95 For each of the years 1918 and 1919 the amount ap- 
propriated was $8000. 96 

The organization of the Bureau of Vital Statistics is based 
upon the Model Bill, which is used in all of the states doing 
effective work. "The bill provides that a sufficient number of 
local registrars be appointed throughout the state to collect the 
births and deaths occurring from time to time. The local regis- 
trars make monthly report to the Director of the Bureau of 
Vital Statistics. The birth and death certificates are gone 
over carefully as they are received by the bureau, and when 
improperly made out, every effort is made to get them cor- 
rected and recorded in proper form." 97 The Bureau of Vital 
Statistics is striving to reach the degree of efficiency in collecting 
births and deaths to be recognized by the United States Census 
Bureau, and in order to do this and therefore be placed in the 
United States Registration Area, it is essential to collect 90 per 
cent of the births and deaths occurring in the state each year. ' ' 98 

The fact that the negro population of Mississippi consti- 
tutes slightly over half of the total population of the state makes 
more difficult the work of collecting vital statistics. The offi- 
cials of the bureau in their report to the governor and legisla- 
ture in 1917 called attention to the need of employing a field 
agent, as done in other states, 99 for the collection of statistics 
relative to births and deaths. In the opinion of the officials of 
the bureau, after employing a field agent there would be no dif- 

M Laws 1912, Ch. 62, p. 52. 

95 Laws of 1914, Ch. 52, p. 60; Laws 1916, Ch. 52, p. 51. 

••Laws 1918, Ch. 49, p. 55. 

"Rept. State Board Health, 1915-1917, p. 13. 

"Rpt State Board eHalth, 1915-1917, p. 13. 

"North Carolina, e. g. 


ficulty in placng the state in the United States Registration 
Area. 100 

The work of the Division of Municipal Sanitation has been 
chiefly in the hands of the Chief Sanitary Inspector of the 
Board of Health staff. The activities of this division include 
the inspection of all places of public utility in the towns and 
cities of the state. ''This means," says the 1917 report of the 
inspector, "the inspection of dairies and their products, meat 
markets and slaughter houses, hotels and restaurants, grocery 
stores, fruit stands, drug stores and soda fountains, depots, pas- 
senger coaches, federal buildings, courthouses, jails, poorhouses, 
and also the general sanitary condition of towns and cities." 101 
The Chief Sanitary Inspector, in view of the immense amount of 
inspection work that needs to be done, recommended in his re- 
port in 1917 that special attention should be given to sanitary 
inspection work in connection with the dairy industry of the 
state, which industry has grown rapidly during recent years. 102 
The report also called attention to the need of more careful and 
systematic inspection of hotels and restaurants than could pos- 
sibly be made by one officer, who in addition to this duty has im- 
posed upon him a multiplicity of other important duties. 103 The 
appropriations made by the legislature for this branch of the 
public health work have been exceedingly small. The amount 
appropriated to be spent annually for "food and drug inspec- 
tion, and the inspection of the towns and cities of the state and 
for the enforcement of the sanitary regulations of the state" in 
1914, 1915, 1916 and 1917 was $3200, 104 and in 1918 and 1919 
$3600. 105 

In addition to the five bureaus under the present organiza- 
tion of the State Board of Health, the report of the Board in 
1917 contains a recommendation that the appropriation for the 
work of the Board shall be made adequate to establish a division 

m Rept. 1915-1917, p. 13. 

10, Rept St. Board Health, 1915-1917, p. 15. 

1<a Ibid., See Ch. VI, infra, and Laws 1918, Ch. 191, p. 224. 

m Above. 

m Laws 1914, Ch. 62, p. 60; Laws 1916, Ch. 52, p. 51. 

"•Laws 1918, Ch. 49, p. 55. 



of child welfare work. 106 The activities of such a bureau would 
be chiefly those pertaining to the medical inspection of children 
of school age. Unquestionably the establishment of such a bu- 
reau in the State Board of Health would be of material benefit 
to the people of the state, both as a matter of public health and 
as a problem of vital importance in the educational work of the 

Important work has been undertaken, with highly com- 
mendable results, by the State Board of Health in connection 
with the prevention of blindness of newly born children. This 
work has been conducted under the provisions of the Model 
Law enacted by the legislature in 1916. 107 As a public health 
measure no more important legislation has been enacted than 
this law. The health authorities have been handicapped in car- 
rying out the provisions of the law on account of meagre funds. 
The appropration for this special work for each of the four years 
1916, 1917, 1918, and 1919 was only $300. 103 

Conducting demonstrations in the eradication of malaria 
by the sterilization of the blood of those infected; 108 preparing 
sanitary surveys of cities with a population of 5,000 or more ; 110 
conducting experiments in the treatment of pellagra; provid- 
ing better methods for the prevention and treatment of tubercu- 
losis 111 — these constitute some of the important phases of the work 
cf the public health authorities of the state during recent years. 

The legislature of 1916 passed an act to provide for the 
establishment of a state sanitarium for the prevention and treat- 
ment of tuberculosis. 112 Under the provisions of this statute, 
the State Board of Health elects a superintendent of the insti- 

,oe Rpt. St. Board Health, 1915-1917, pp. 17-19. 

10T Laws 1916, Ch. 115, pp. 166-168. 

a "Laws 1916, Ch. 73, p. 67; Laws 1918, Ch. 98, p. 85. 

109 Rpt St. Board Health, 1915-1917, p. 23. 

"°Ibid., p. 24. 

m Laws 1916, 146, 147, 521, 544 and 638; Laws 1918, pp. 193, 194, 264. 

m Laws 1916, Ch. 79, pp. 146-148. 



tution. It is required that the person selected for superinten- 
dency of the sanitarium be a well trained physician and experi- 
enced in public health work. 113 The same act created a bureau 
of tuberculosis to be operated by the sanitarium, the duties 
of which consists in collecting statistics pertaining to the work 
of preventing and treating tuberculosis. The bureau of tubercu- 
losis cooperates with the bureau of vital statistics of the State 
Board of Health. 114 The legislature that created the sanitarium 
appropriated $25,000 for its establishment. 115 In 1918 the legisla- 
ture appropriated a total of $159,276.00 for the operation and ex- 
tension of the sanitarium during the years 1918 and 1919. 116 The 
work that is now being done by the tuberculosis sanitarium con- 
stitutes a long-needed and important part of the public health 
activities of the state. 

Much of the success of the work of the state public health 
authorities depends upon the degree to which they enlist the 
sympathy and support of the county authorities of the eighty- 
two counties. The county is the unit of health activity. Each 
county in the state has a county health officer. 117 When the State 
Board of Health made its report in 1917, in all counties except 
two the county health officer was a part-time officer. Pearl River 
county and Prentiss county had full-time county health officers. 118 
The salaries paid county health officers varied from $100 a year 
in Calhoun County to $2,800 a year in Pearl River County and 
$2,400 a year in Prentiss County. 119 

"The part-time county health officer is handicapped in do- 
ing effective health work, ' ' says the report of the State Board of 
Health, "for the reason that it is essential that he give proper 

m Ibid., Sec. 2. 

m Ibid., Sec. 4. 

m Laws 1916, Ch. 68, pp. 63-64. 

"•Laws 1918, Ch. 38, pp. 46-48, general appropriation; Ch. 39, p. 48, 

special appropriation to cover deficit on equipment. 
m Code 1906, Ch. 64, Sec. 2491. 
n8 See Rpt. St. Board Health, 1915-1917, pp. 131-135, for report of the 

work of the two full-time county health officers. 
M9 Rept. St Board Education, 1915-1917, p. 128, for list of salaries paid 

in various counties. 



thought and consideration to his practice." 120 Speakng of the 
system of local health administration in the state, the State 
Board of Health makes the following observations: 121 

The present system of county health officers has without question 
been of considerable service to the State Board of Health in improv- 
ing sanitary conditions. In many of the counties the part-time man 
achieves results for which he is by no means compensated. In the 
main, the part time county health officers of Mississippi have been, so 
far as the system will permit, reasonably effective health workers. But 
the prevention of disease should be the business of the State Board of 
Health. This responsibility must be shared by the county health of- 
ficer. The business of conserving the public health requires the undi- 
vided and aggressive effort of those who serve in this capacity. It is 
a difficult problem to eradicate a disease even if one devotes his entire 
time to the task. It is a task that requires persistent, aggressive and 
intelligent effort day by day, year in and year out. 

In view of this situation, the State Board of Health rec- 
ommended to the legislature which met in 1918 that legislation 
should be enacted looking to the change of the system of county 
health work. In place of the part time health officers, the 
State Board would substitute full time county health officers, 
or district health officers. In the report to the governor and 
legislature on this question, the State Board said: 122 

In the event the county elects to have an all-time county health 
officer the governing board of the county should be permitted to do 
so and the health officer selected by the board of health on the basis of 
training, experience and efficiency, regardless of the boundaries of the 
county. It may be advisable for two or more counties to combine and 
have a district health officer. In the event this were done, with a man 
in charge of the district devoting his entire time to the work, it would 
be more satisfactory and productive of larger results than the part- 
time health officer in each county. It is not desirable to abolish the 
part time system in toto, but to gradually supplant it by a more effec- 
tive health organization such as above suggested. 

The county health officer, under the plan recommended by 
the State Board of Health, would have jurisdiction over the cities 
and towns in the respective counties, except in the very few 
counties in which there are cities of 25,000 to 30,000 popula- 
tion. In these cities the State Board advises that there be a de- 
partment of health, with a responsible head, and in such cities 
the county health officer would have no jurisdiction except in an 

"°Rpt. State Board Health, 1915-1917, p. 21. 

^Ibid., pp. 21-22. 

«Rpt St. Board Health, 1915-1917, p. 22. 


advisory capacity. 123 The system here recommended would be 
a step forward toward securing a better organized and more 
efficient system of public health control in the state. 

There are ten state-supported institutions in Mississippi • 
which have been established for public health purposes. They 
are the Mattie Hersee Hospital at Meridian, the Natchez Hos- 
pital, the Charity Hospital at Vicksburg, the State Charity Hos- 
pital at Jackson, the State Charity Hospital of South Mississippi, 
the State Tuberculosis Sanitarium, the State Insane Asylum, the 
East Mississippi Insane Hospital, the Institute for the Deaf and 
Dumb, the Institute for the Blind. The latter two are educa- 
tional institutions, but they are also institutions engaged in pub- 
lic health activities. 124 

Thus it will have been noted that the activities of the state 
health authorities are numerous, including among their chief 
functions the prevention of the spread of contagious and infec- 
tious diseases among men and animals; the regulation of the 
practice of medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy; the inspection 
of food and drugs ; the regulation of labor conditions in certain 
trades and occupations employing women and children; the 
directing of sanitary work in various rural communities; the 
control over the preparation of the bodies of the dead for burial 
and their transportation from place to place ; the collection and 
collation of vital statistics; the conducting of experiments in 
methods of eradicating certain diseases; and the supervision 
of local health authorities. Although the state health forces have 
frequently been handicapped in their work on account of lack of 
funds, the legislature is showing a disposition to be more lib- 
eral in the amount appropriated biennially for the improve- 
ment of public health conditions. 125 In the administration of 

"Ttept. St Board Health, 1915-1917, p. 22. Jackson has an all time 
city health officer. 

,s *The King's Daughters Hospital at Gulfport receives some aid from 
the state. See Laws 1918, Ch. 37, p. 45. 

m A total of $95,200 for the use of the State Board of Health, and 
$50,000 for the Livestock Sanitary Board appropriated in 1918, 
shows a substantial increase over any previous biennial appropria- 
tion. Laws 1918, Ch. 49, pp. 54-55; Ch. 98, p. 85; Ch. 45, p. 51. 



public health affairs in the state the tendency has been toward 
a more centralized plan and the indications are that greater 
centralization will be effected in the future. 126 

128 In the 1919 gubernatorial campaign one of the candidates includes 
as one of his "platform promises" the recommendation that the 
State Board of Health be materially reduced and that its member- 
ship be selected by the State Medical Association. 




In a state essentially agricultural in its general economy it 
would be expected that evidence of direct state participation in 
agricultural pursuits would be found in the early public 
statutes. Such is the case in Mississippi. Under provision of 
an act approved January 27, 1841, entitled "An act to promote 
industry, and for the encouragement of agriculture in the State 
of Mississippi ' ' a State Agricultural Society, and auxiliary 
County Agricultural Societies were established. 1 

As a pioneer piece of legislation for the promotion and pro- 
tection of agricultural pursuits in the state, this statute is 
worthy of note. In the introduction to the statute it was ob- 
served that to encourage, by every legitimate means, such pur- 
suits among its citizens as tend to increase substantial pros- 
perity "is the highest privilege and most sacred duty of a state 
legislature ;' " that "it is on the pursuit of an efficient system 
of agricultural employment that every people is dependent for 
the abundance and cheapness of the necessaries and luxuries of 
life, which constitute the surest evidence of a prosperous com- 
munity;" and that "by a concurrence of unfortunate circum- 
stances, this vital branch of individual and national wealth and 
happiness is greatly depressed and paralyzed among us, and, if 
ever, should now receive the fostering aid and encouragement 
of the people's representatives." 2 

Each county in the state — at that time fifty-nine — was con- 
stituted an "Auxiliary Agricultural Society," and any free- 
holder of the state could become a member by the payment into 
the county treasury of five dollars. Each county organization 
was called upon to elect a president, two vice-presidents, a secre- 
tary, and a committee of five members for the purpose of award- 
ing premiums, called the ' ' Premium Committee. ' ' The county 

Hutchison's Code, 1798-1348, Ch. 6, Art II, pp. 145-147. 
Hutchison's Code, 1789-1848, p. 145. 



treasurer of each county was designated to serve as treasurer of 
the county agricultural society. 3 

The State Agricultural Society was established "to be com- 
posed of one member from each auxiliary county society, who 
shall elect annually ten local members, all of whom shall elect a 
president and five vice-presidents." The secretary of state and 
the state treasurer were made secretary and treasurer, ex-of- 
ficio, respectively, of the state agricultural society. 4 

The county societies were required to pay twenty per cent 
of their entire annual receipts into the state treasury, to the 
credit of the State Agricultural Society, upon the payment of 
which the auditor was required to issue his warrant in favor of 
the society for an amount equal to one-half of the total amount 
paid into the treasury by the various county societies. This con- 
stituted the funds of the State Agricultural Society, perhaps the 
first direct state appropriation for agricultural purposes. 

The activities of the state organization and the several 
county organizations may best be seen by quoting from the law 
concerning the way in which the funds of the two societies were 
to be appropriated. 

Article 7 of the statute read : 5 

The State Agricultural Society shall, at its discretion, appropriate 
its means as follows: To defray the necessary expenses of maintain- 
ing a correspondence with the county societies, and other institutions 
and persons abroad and at home; to the procurement and dissemina- 
tion of useful information on all the subjects connected with agricul 
ture, industry and economy; in the purchase of books, pamphlets, maps, 
charts, and specimens of skill and ingenuity upon all subjects con- 
nected with agriculture, the production of the earth, or all the animal 
creation; to promote the circulation of agricultural newspapers in this 
state; to the printing and disseminating documents upon agricultural 
subjects; to institute inquiry and research into the subjects connected 
with agriculture; and, generally, to cause all practical information 
calculated to advance agricultural and economical science, to be em- 
bodied for general use, and communicated to the citizens of this state. 

The ambitions of the local societies were scarcely less in- 
clusive than those of the central body. The law required that 

'Ibid., Sec. 1. 

4 Ibid., p. 145, Sec. 5. 

•Hutchinson's Code, 1798-1848, p. 146. 



the funds of the county association should be appropriated as 

follows : 6 

To defray the expenses of correspondence; to the payment of con- 
tributors to agricultural journals on agricultural subjects; to promote 
excellence in tilling land; to reward the producers of rare and extra- 
ordinary results from the cultivation of the soil; to the encouragement 
of importations from abroad, and from other states, of improved seeds, 
plant, and other vegetable production suitable to our climate; to en- 
courage importations and improvements in horses, asses, cattle, sheep, 
hogs, and other live stock, of approved qualities; to encourage the cul- 
ture of the grape, and the making of wine; to inspire rivalship in rais- 
ing fine fruits of all kinds; to encourage the raising of silk, and making 
silk thread and cloth; to encourage the manufacture of woolen and 
cotton yarns and cloths; to encourage and patronize the improvement 
and invention of labor-saving implements of husbandry; to encourage 
the culture of rice, tobacco, indigo, and other articles of consumption; 
to encourage domestic industry in weaving, spinning, knitting, sewing, 
and such other exertions of skill as are calculated to promote the re- 
sources, and develop the means, of the State of Mississippi. 

Indicating an additional activity of the county societies the law 
authorized each of these organizations to acquire and hold 
to an amount not exceeding forty acres as a place for holding 
fairs. 7 

The president of each county society was required to make 
an annual report to the president of the state society which 
should contain " substantially and specifically the state of agri- 
culture and economy of the county ; the improvements made and 
being made ; an estimate of the probable profits of the different 
branches of agriculture; with such other suggestions and reflec- 
tions as may be deemed useful and interesting to agriculture. ' ' s 
The state society prepared a digest of the various county reports, 
supplemented by any additional suggestions deemed useful and 
proper. 9 

The third constitution of the state provided for the office 
of .commissioner of immigration and agriculture. Section 23 of 
the constitution of 1869 stated that "there shall be a commis- 
sioner of immigration and agriculture, who shall be elected by 

•Hutchinson's Code, 1798-1848, p. 146, Sec. 8. 
T Ibid., p. 147, Sec. 11. 

•Hutchinson's Code, 1798-1848, p. 146, Sec. 9. 
•Ibid., p. 147, Sec. 10. 



the legislature on joint ballot, who shall hold his office for the 
term of four years unless sooner removed by law." 10 

On March 8, 1882 11 the legslature approved an act to or- 
ganize and regulate the duties of the Department of Immigra- 
tion and Agriculture, pursuant to the provision of the constitu- 
tion of 1869. The Board of Immigration and Agriculture estab- 
lished by this act was composed of the Governor who was presi- 
dent of the board, the Commissioner of Immigration and Agri- 
culture, the Attorney General, and the State Treasurer. The 
board was required to hold regular meetings once every three 
months, and the Governor or Commissioner could call a special 
meeting of the board whenever business required it. Section 3 
of the act empowered the Commissioner of Immigration to au- 
thorize the organization of auxiliary boards of immigration and 
agriculture in such counties of the state as desired the same, 
under such rules and regulations as the boards of immigration 
and agriculture might prescribe. 12 Under the terms of the act the 
Commissioner of Immigration and Agriculture was required 
to submit to each county superintendent of education and each 
clerk of the chancery court in the state a questionnaire which 
was quite comprehensive in the amount and nature of informa- 
tion it sought to elicit. The Department of Immigration and 
Agriculture, under this act, was called upon to make a type of 
social survey of the state, which was to be used as a means of 
attracting immigrants to settle in the state. 13 The Board was 
authorized to appoint a deputy and an assistant commissioner. 
For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the act $25,- 
500 was appropriated by the legislature. 14 

The Department and County Auxiliary Boards created in 
1882 were rather short-lived. For several years there was no 
state department of agriculture. A Department of Agriculture 
and Immigration was created by act of the legislature in 1906. 15 

10 Art. XII, Sec. 23. 

"Laws 1882, Ch. XVIII, pp. 26-32. 

"Laws 1882, Ch. XVIII, Sec. 3. 

"Ibid., Sees. 4-8. 

"Ibid., Sec. 12. 

"Laws 1906, Ch. 102, pp. 83-87. Code 1906, Ch. 32, pp. 526-629. 


The same legislature changed the name of the department to 
Agriculture and Commerce. 16 The department was placed un- 
der the management and control of a Commissioner of Agricul- 
ture, Statistics and Immigration, who, under the terms of the 
law " should have competent knowledge of agriculture, mining, 
manufacture, statistics and general industries, must be an ex- 
perienced and practical agriculturalist, and shall be elected by 
the people at the time and in the manner that other state of- 
ficers are elected." 17 

The governor appointed a Commissioner of Agriculture, 
Statistics and Immigration to serve until January 1, 1908, when 
the elected Commissioner's term began. The Commissioner 
serves a term of four years, and is eligible for reelection. Sec- 
tion 9 of the act creating the Department of Agriculture and 
Commerce prescribes the duties of the Commissioner. 18 These 
duties relate to subjects that have to do with developng and pro- 
tecting various agricultural pursuits. It is provided in the 
statute that 19 

No provision of this Act shall be construed to in any way conflict 
with the work and scope of the Agricultural and Mechanical College 
and Experiment Station. It is the purpose that this department shall 
cooperate with said college and Experiment Station in the dissemina- 
tion and publicity of such useful information as may come into the 
possession of said department. 

The initial appropriation to the department for the biennium 
1906-1907, was a total value of $9,700. 20 

The Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce has had 
new duties, from time to time, added to those required of him 
in the act establishing the department. The legislature in 1918 
passed an act to "regulate dairies, creameries, milk and cream 
buyers and skimming stations, and the sale and purchase of 
milk and cream and the by-products of the same, in the State 
of Mississippi." 21 The Commissioner of Agriculture and Com- 
merce is charged with the duty of enforcing the terms of this 

"Laws 1906, Ch. 103, p. 87. 

"Laws 1906, Ch. 102, p. 83. 

"Ibid., p. 84. 

"Ibid., part 8a, p. 85. 

"Ibid., Ch. 46, p. 43. 

"Laws 1918, Ch. 191, pp. 224-231. 


act. Since 1912 the Commissioner of Agriculture and Com- 
merce has been charged with the duty of issuing tags to manu- 
facturers of fertilizers, work formerly done under the direction 
of the State Chemist. 22 The Commissioner also cooperates with 
the State Chemist in administering the law, providing for and 
regulating the inspection, sale, and analysis of commercial feeds 
and feeding stuffs in the state. 23 The appropriation for the 
support of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce for 
1918 and 1919 was $12,051.30, 24 not including, of course, the 
amount appropriated for enforcing the feed and fertilizer law. 

The work of the State Department of Agriculture and 
Commerce, as at present constituted, falls under the following 
heads : 25 

I. Promotion of general agriculture throughout the state. 

II. Control and regulation 

(1) Inspection of feeds 

(2) Inspection of fertilizers 

(3) Inspection of foods, under the direction of the State 
Chemist, in cooperation with the United States Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. 

(4) Live stock sanitation 

(The Commissioner of Agriculture is ex-officio Chairman 
of the State Live Stock Sanitary Board) 

(a) Eradication of the cattle tick 

(b) Control of outbreaks of diseases 

(c) Quarantines 

(5) Plant disease regulation 

(The Commissioner of Agriculture is ex-officio chairman 
of the State Plant Board) 

(a) Orchard and nursery inspection 

(b) Citrus canker eradication 

(c) Prevention of the introduction of insect pests and 
diseases injurious to plants and plant products. 

(d) Quarantines 

(6) Dairy and creamery inspection and regulations. 

III. Administration 

(1) Agricultural statistics (Provided for in the law creating 
the department; but no funds are available by appropria- 
tion for carrying out the law). 

a Laws 1912, Ch. 138, pp. 138-140. See infra., p. 252. 
"Ibid., Ch. 139, Sec. 11; also Ch. 220, Laws 1912. 
"Laws 1918, Ch. 1, p. 4. 

"By the courtesy of Mr. P. P. Garner, State Commissioner of Agri- 
culture and Commerce. 


(2) Markets (This phase of the work, on account of the mea- 
greness of the funds available, is confined to the semi- 
monthly issuance of a modest market bulletin, in which 
are given farm products, etc., "for sale" or "exchange" or 
"wanted" ) . 

(3) Publication: The Bulletin, the official organ of the De- 
partment, formerly issued monthly, but now quarterly, on 
account of the meagreness of funds. 

(4) Immigration: The law creating the Department provides 
for the preparation and display at Fairs and Expositions 
of exhibits showing the state's resources, and intended to 
attract settlers. Provision is also made for the preparation 
of a handbook giving full information concerning the ad- 
vantages which the state affords to immigrants. On ac- 
count of the lack of appropriation for this purpose it has 
not been possible for the department to carry out these 
provisions fully. The department has a great deal of cor- 
respondence with people in other sections of the United 
States in regard to their buying farms and homes in the 

County departments of agriculture were authorized by an 
act passed by the legislature in 1908. 26 The law provided that 
the board of supervisors of any county might establish a depart- 
ment of agriculture, the purpose of which should be "to dis- 
seminate useful information among the farmers and develop the 
agricultural resources of the counties of the state. ' ' 27 The board 
of supervisors was authorized to appoint a commissioner to di- 
rect the county department of agriculture. It was made the 
duty of the county commissoner * ■ to keep in close touch with the 
United States Department of Agriculture, the Mississippi A. & 
M. College, the state experiment stations, the State Department 
of Agriculture, assist in organizing the agricultural societies, 
look after agricultural statistics and advance in every way 
possible the farming interests of the county. ' ' 28 

By Chapter 104, Laws of 1908, the board of supervisors of 
the various counties of the state were authorized to offer prizes 
to the corn clubs of the public schools of the county. 29 An 
act passed by the legislature in 1910 authorized the boards of 
supervisors in the various counties to make appropriations out 
of the general county fund to be used in co-operation with the 

"Laws 1908, Ch. 103, pp. 93-94. 
"Ibid., Sec. 1. 
"Laws 1908, Ch. 103, p. 94. 
"Laws 1908, p. 94. 



Mississippi Livestock Sanitary Board and the United States De- 
partment of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Husbandly, in 
eradicating the cattle tick and infectious and contagious diseases 
in live stock. 30 Another bill passed by the same legislature au- 
thorized the county boards of supervisors to make appropria- 
tions out of the general county fund for the purpose of pro- 
moting the general development of agriculture, horticulture, 
and live stock resources of the State by offering premiums for 
excellence in production of crops and animals. 31 Thus in 1908 
and 1910 the legislature was extending the practice which, at 
least in part, had begun back in 1841. 32 

By an act approved January 31, 1888, 33 the State of Mis- 
sissippi accepted the provisions of an act of Congress 34 entitled 
an act to establish agricultural experiment stations in connection 
with the college established in the several states under the pro- 
visions of an act of Congress of 1862 and supplementary acts 
of 1887. 35 The act of the state legislature directed that the money 
received by the state under the provisions of the act of Congress 
should be expended under the direction of the Agricultural and 
Mechanical College, and the experiment station should be estab- 
lished in connection with the college. The trustees of the college 
were authorized to set apart for the use of the experiment station 
"so much of the land and other property belonging to said col- 
lege as they may deem necessary from time to time." 36 

In order to serve more fully the people in all parts of the 

state, branch experiment stations were established in 1901 and 

1904. These stations were placed at McNeill in the southern 

part of the state; 37 at Holly Springs in the northwestern 

part of the state ; 3S and at Stoneville in the Yazo-Mississippi 

Delta. 39 The legislature in 1918 authorized the trustees of the 

M Laws 1910, Ch. 143, p. 135. 

^Ibid., Ch. 144, p. 135. 

"Hutchinson's Code, 1798-1848, p. 146, Sec. 8. 

"Laws 1888, Ch. 32. p. 54; Code 1892, Ch. 3, Sec. 27, p. 122. 

"The Hatch Act, approved March 2, 1887. 

"See Ch. 11, supra., on public education. 

"Laws 1888, Ch. 32, p. 54, Sec. 2. 

"Laws 1901, Ch. 

"Laws 1904, Ch. 84, p. 114. 

"Ibid., Ch. 85, p. 115. 


A. & M. College to remove the McNeill branch experiment sta- 
tion and locate it on land near Poplarville in Pearl River Coun- 
ty. The board of trustees were authorized to sell all but five 
hundred acres of the land belonging to the McNeil station 
and to carry on pasture experiments in connection with the 
Southern Pine Association on the five hundred acres retained. 40 

The experiment stations are supported partly by state and part- 
ly by federal funds. For the '. years 1918 and 1919 the state leg- 
islature appropriated- $8,250 a- year to the McNeill station, the 
same amount to the Holly ."Springs station, and $11,000 a year 
to the Stoneville station. 41 

Enforcing feed and fertilizer laws constitutes an impor- 
tant part of the agricultural administration in the state. By 
an act approved March 8, 1882, it was provided : 42 

That each and every manufacturer and vendor selling or offering 
for sale, for use in this state, any commercial manures or artificially 
manufactured fertilizers, by whatsoever name called, animal excre- 
ment excepted, shall keep in his place of business, or possession, for in- 
spection by the public, a fair printed analysis of the same. 

It was provided in this act that the person occupying the chair 
cf professor of chemistry in the Agricultural and Mechanical 
College is ex-officio State Chemist. 43 It was made the duty of . 
the State Chemst to analyze samples of ail fertilizers submitted 
to him by manufacturers, vendors or other persons, and to furn- 
ish such persons with a certificate of his analysis. 44 All manu- 
facturers of fertilizers were required to have analyses made by 
the State Chemist, and to pay a fee of twenty dollars for each 
analysis and certificate of same. 45 All manufacturers were re- 
quired to furnish their vendors certified copies of certificates of 
analysis. 46 

- Chapter 31, Laws of 1888, 47 amended the law of 1882 by 

"Laws 1918, Ch. 419, pp. 416-417. 
"Ibid.. Chapters 9, 10, 11, pp. 16-17. 
"Laws 1882, Ch. XXIV, pp. 44-47, Sec. 1. 
"Laws 1882, Ch. XXIV, pp. 44-47, Sec. 2. 
"Ibid., Sec. 3. 
"Ibid., Sec. 5. 
"Ibid., p. 46, Sec. 8. 
"P. 53. 



requiring that any citizen of the State desiring to have a fer- 
tilizer analyzed should, in addition to the requirements of the 
law of 1882, be required to furnish to the State Chemist a cer- 
tificate of two or more persons, certifying that the sample of fer- 
tilizer forwarded to the State Chemist for analysis, was a sample 
of fertilizer sold in the store. The act of 1888 further provided 
that if the State Chemist should refuse to analyze such fertili- 
zer and furnish a certificate of analysis as directed by law, that 
the board of trustees of the A. & M. College should remove him 
from the chair of professor of chemistry in the college, and ap- 
point his successor. 43 

The laws of 1882 and 1888 were substantially reenacted in 
the annotated code of 1892. 49 It was provided in this code that 
in addition to furnishing certificates of all analyses made, the 
State Chemist should have prepared a sufficient number of tags 
"of suitable material and form, with proper fastening for at- 
taching to packages, and having printed thereon the word 
* guaranteed, ' with the year of sale, number of tag, and a fac- 
simile of his signature.' 750 The state Chemist was required to 
keep a record of all analyses and of tags issued. Section 2072 
of the code provided that "the state chemist shall charge and 
collect for the analysis of each brand of fertilizer the sum of 
fifteen dollars, and for enough tags for one ton of fertilizer, 
thirty cents." 51 The law prescribed that every package of fer- 
tilizer sold should have a tag attached. Concerning the way in 
which fees received for analysis should be used, the law pro- 
vided that such fees should be deposited with the treasurer of 
the A. & M. College, to be expended, under the direction of the 
board of trustees, in defraying expenses of analyzing fertilizers, 
the preparation of tags, and otherwise as the board shall allow or 
direct. 52 Under the terms of the code, the State Chemist was 
required to analyze free of charge samples of fertilizers "prop- 

"Laws 1888, Ch. 31, p. 53, Sec. 2. 

"Annotated Code 1892, Ch. 48, pp. 529-531. 

"Ibid., Sec. 2068. 

"Code 1892, Ch. 48, Sec. 2072. 

"Code 1892, Sec. 2073. 


erly certified and prepared which may be furnished to him by 
farmers and other purchasers. ' ' 53 

A few changes of an administrative type have been made 
subsequent to the code of 1892. 54 The code of 1906, however, 
shows that the early laws relating to this phase of agricultural 
administration have remained without many very important 
alterations. By section 2251 of the 1906 code the provisions con- 
tained in section 2072 of the code of 1892 is amended so as to 
reduce from fifteen to five dollars the charge for analyzing each 
brand of fertilizer. Under the 1906 code thirty cents remained 
the charge for " enough tags for one ton of fertilizer;" but for 
cotton seed meal the cost of tags was placed at twenty cents per 
ton. 55 

By act of the legislature in 1912 the duty of issuing tax 
tags to manufacturers of fertilizers was transferred from the 
State Chemist to the Commissioner of Agriculture and Com- 
merce; 56 the State Chemist remaining in charge of all analyti- 
cal work. Fees were collected by the Commissioner of Agricul- 
ture and Commerce, and deposited with the state treasurer — five 
dollars for each guarantee received and registered by him, 57 
and twenty cents for a sufficient number of tags for one ton 
of fertilizer or cotton seed meal. 58 The legislature of 1912 also 
passed an act to provide for and regulate the inspection, sale, 
and analysis of commercial feeds and feeding stuffs in the 
state. 59 The administration of the terms of the law is placed 
in the hands of the State Chemist and Commissioner of Agricul- 
ture and Commerce. 60 

The legislature appropriated $30,000 out of money turned 
into the State treasury from the sale of feed and fertilizer tags 
for the use of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce in 

"Ibid., Sec. 2069. 

"Laws 1896, Ch. 66; Laws 1904, Ch. 111. 

"Code 1906, Ch. 51, p. 696. 

"Laws 1912, Ch. 138, pp. 133-140. 

"Laws 1912, Ch. 139, pp. 140-145. 

"Ibid., Sec. 2. 

"Ibid., Sec. 8. 

"Ibid., Sec. 11, See also Ch. 220, Laws 1912. 


enforcing of the feed and fertilizer laws during the years 1914 
and 1915. 61 The amount appropriated for this purpose for the 
years 1916 and 1917 was $27,500, 62 and for the years 1918 and 
1919, $33,957.43. 63 

The code of 1880 64 as well as the code of 1892 65 prescribed 
a penalty for keeping animals diseased with the glanders. An 
act passed in 1896 amended the previous code so as to author- 
ize county boards of supervisors to employ at the expense of the 
county a veterinary surgeon in case of outbreak of glanders. 68 
It was also provided in the act that the county board of super- 
visors should have authority to order all animals which had 
been exposed to glanders but not actually affected placed in 
quarantine. 67 The law amended is a part of the code of 1906. 68 

In creating the State Livestock Sanitary Board, the legisla- 
ture of 1908 established a definite administrative agency for 
regulating live stock matters in the state. The State Live Stock 
Sanitary Board has seven members, five ex-officio and two ap- 
pointed. The Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce is 
chairman of the board ; the professor of animal husbandry at the 
A. & M. College is secretary; the Governor, Attorney-General, 
and the professor of veterinary science at the A. & M. College, 
who is State Veterinarian, are members. 69 In addition to these, 
two other members are appointed by the governor as represen- 
tatives of the live stock breeders of the state. The two members 
appointed by the governor serve four years. The board is given 
absolute power to regulate live stock matters — the right to estab- 
lish and maintain quarantine lines, to prevent the introduction 
and spread of contagious and infectious diseases among live 

"Laws 1914, Ch. 8, S. B. No. 40, p. 14. 
"Laws 1916, Ch. 9, H. B. No. 26, p. 15. 
"Laws 1918, Ch. 65, S. B. No. 74, p. 66. 
"Sec. 810. 
"Sec. 1019. 

"Laws 1896, Ch. 136, p. 152. 
"Ibid., Sec. 2. 
"Sec. 1096. -••;..,:. 

"The governor and attorney general added in 1910, Laws 1910, Ch. 
227, p. 226. 


stock and to appoint inspectors and officers for the enforcement 
of regulations. 70 

The legislature that established the Live Stock Sanitary 
Board made an initial appropriation of $2500 for the year 1908 
and the same amount for the year 1909. 71 In 1910 the legisla- 
ture appropriated for the use of the Live Stock Sanitary Board 
for the years 1910 and 1911 a total of $40,000, 72 and in addi- 
tion authorized boards of supervisors in the various counties to 
appropriate money out of the general county fund to be used 
in co-operation with the Live Stock Sanitary Board and the 
Bureau of Animal Industry of the United States Department 
of Agriculture in eradicating the cattle tick and infectious and 
contagious diseases in live stock. 73 Another act passed by the 
1910 legislature, as already noted, 74 authorized the board of 
supervisors of the various counties to appropriate money out of 
the general fund for the purpose of promoting the proper devel- 
opment of agriculture, horticulture and live stock resources of 
the state by offering premiums for excellence in production of 
crops and live stock. 75 For 1912 and 1913 there was appro- 
priated $35,000, and it was provided that if hog cholera should 
become prevalent, and if the original appropriation were ex- 
hausted, the governor should have authority to borrow $10,000 
to be used by the Live Stock Sanitary Board. 78 The appro- 
priation for the years 1914 and 1915 amounted to $40,000 ; 77 for 
1916 and 1917 $35,000 ; 78 for 1918 and 1919 $50,000. 78 Im- 
portant legislation relating to tick eradication was passed by 
the legislature of 1914 80 and of 1916. 81 The legislature of 1918 

"Laws 1908, Ch. 106, pp. 96-98. 
"Laws 1908, Ch. 41, p. 39. 
"Laws 1910, Ch. 42, p. 37. 
"Ibid., Ch. 143, p. 135. 
"Supra., p. 250. 
"Ibid., Ch. 144., pp. 135-136. 

"Laws of 1912, Ch. 33, p. 34. Also Ch. 76, p. 60, appropriation of 
$193.50 to pay (Jeficit for labor of Live Stock Sanitary Inspectors. 
"Laws 1914, Ch. 33, p. 40. 
"Laws 1916, Ch. 33, p. 38. 
"Laws 1918, Ch. 45, p. 51. 
"Laws 1914, Chapters 217-222, pp. 284-289. 
"Laws 1916, Ch. 167, pp. 230-232. 


passed an act to provide for the control and eradication of tu- 
berculosis among cattle; the direction of this work was placed 
in the hands of the State Live Stock Sanitary Board. 82 

The State Plant Board was created under the term of ' ' The 
Mississippi plant act of 1918. " 83 The board is composed of 
three members— the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Director 
of the state agricultural experiment stations, and the Chief En- 
tomologist of the Agricultural and Mechanical College. 84 The 
general functions of the State Plant Board relate to pre- 
venting the introduction into and the dissemination within the 
state of insect pests and diseases injurious to plants and plant 
products of the state. 85 The board prescribes quarantine and 
inspection regulations, and appoints and prescribes the duties 
of such inspectors and other employees as necessary to carry out 
the provisions of the law. There was appropriated $25,000 a 
year for the years 1918 and 1919 "to be used by the state plant 
board, to prevent the introduction, dissemination and to eradi- 
cate citrus canker, pink boll worm, potato root weevil, alfalfa 
weevil, and other injurious insects and diseases. ' ,8S 

The State Geological Survey Commission has administra- 
tive duties relating to the agricultural development of the state. 
The commission was established by an act of the legislature in. 
1906. 87 The act creating the commission provides for an ex- 
officio personnel, as follows: the Governor, the State Superin- 
tendent of Education, the Chancellor of the University of Mis- 
sissippi, the President of the Agricultural and Mechanical Col- 
lege, and the Director of the State Department of Archives and 
History. In the introduction to the statute enacted in 1906 pro- 
viding for a geological survey of the state, reference is made 
to the antecedent legislation regarding this subject. This was 
to the effect that by an act of the legislature approved March 5, 

"Laws 1918, Ch. 215, pp. 264-265. 
"Laws 1918, Ch. 219, pp. 270-275. 
"Laws 1918, p. 270. 
"See Laws 1908, Ch. 105, pp. 94-96. 
"Laws 1918, Ch. 63, pp. 64-65. 

"Laws 1906, Ch. Ill, S. B. No. 27, pp. 98-100. Code 1906, Ch. 59, pp. 



1850, a geological survey was instituted and prosecuted for some 
years with great advantage to the people of the state; but the 
survey was left incomplete in 1872 by the appropriation for the 
survey being discontinued. 88 Not until 1906 was the work re- 

It was provided in the law that the State Geological Com- 
mission shall serve without pay, but shall be reimbursed for 
actual expenses incurred in the performance of their official 
duties. It was also provided that Commission shall have gen- 
eral charge of a "geological, economic and topographical sur- 
vey of the State of Mississippi " to be made in cooperation with 
the Geological Survey of the United States. The Commission 
was required to appoint as director of the survey a geologist of 
established reputation to be known as the State Geologist, and 
to select such assistants and employees as necessary in the work 
of making the survey. 

Besides the general value of such a survey to the agricul- 
tural interests of the state, among the stated objects and pur- 
poses of the survey are given such as (1) an examination and 
classification of the soils and study of their adaptability to par- 
ticular crops and (2) an examination of the physical features 
of the State with reference to their practical bearing upon the 
occupations of the people. 89 Bulletins containing information 
valuable to fanners are issued by the State Geologist from time 
to time. 90 The regular meetings of the Commission are held or 
the first Wednesday in May and the first Wednesday in Novem- 
ber of each year. 91 The state appropriations for the work of 
the geological survey have been as follows: for 1906 and 1907, 
$10,000 ; 92 for 1908 and 1909, $10,000 ; 93 for 1910 and 1911, 

"Ibid., p. 98. 

"Laws 1906, Ch. Ill, p. 99. 

"Laws 1906, Ch. 34, p. 36, Sec. 3. 

"Laws 1906, p. 100. 

^Laws 1906, Ch. 34, p. 36, Sec. 1. 

"Laws 1908, Ch. 34, p. 34. 



$16,000 ; 94 for each biennmm 1912 and 1913, 1914 and 1914, 
1916 and 1917, 1918 and 1919, $13,500. 95 

Teaching and demonstration work contribute a most im- 
portant part of the agricultural administration work of the 
state. The Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College 
established in 1878, 96 through its School of Agriculture, offers 
students a general education along industrial lines, through in- 
struction in technical, agricultural science, and as far as possi- 
ble the practical application of these sciences to farm life. Six 
courses 97 are offered by the School of Agriculture of the Col- 
lege: (1) four-year course in agriculture; (2) graduate course 
in agriculture; (3) four -year course in agricultural engineer- 
ing; (4) two-year course in agriculture; (5) farmers short 
course; (6) correspondence course in agriculture, especially for 
farmers and public school teachers. 98 

There are forty-eight county agricultural high schools in 
the state. This type of agricultural schools was first provided 
for by an act of the legislature in 1908, 99 as amended by act of 
the legislature in 1910. 100 These schools are supported chiefly 
by county funds, but under section 5 of the law of 1910 estab- 
lishing county agricultural high schools the legislature was 
authorized, after certain requirements had been fulfilled by 
the schools, to appropriate not more than $1,500 a year, or 
$3,000 a year where the school is established by two counties 
jointly, toward the support of these schools. 101 In 1916 the leg- 
islature amended the law establishing agricultural high schools 
so as to permit the legislature to appropriate as much as $2,500 a 
year to any county agricultural high school having over forty 
boarding pupils and as much as $4,000 a year to any joint- 

M Laws 1910, Ch. 38, pp. 34-35. 

"Laws 1912, Ch. 48, p. 43; Laws 1914, Ch. 48, p. 50; Laws 1916, Ch. 

40, p. 43; Laws 1918, Ch. 46, p. 52. 
""See Chapter 11, Public Education, supra. 

"In addition, in 1919 a practical course for disabled soldiers added. 
M See Catalogue 1918-1919, Miss. A. & M. College, p. 50. 
"Laws 1910, Ch. 102, p. 92. 

,00 Laws 1910, Ch. 122, p. 110. See Chapter 11, Public Education, supra. 
xo, Laws 1910, Ch. 122, Sec. 5, p. 112. See Ch. 11, Public Education, 




county having over eighty boarding pupils. 102 The amount ap- 
propriated for the years 1918 and 1919 out of state funds to 
aid country agricultural high schools was $231,500. 00, 103 and 
besides $21,499.99 was appropriated to cover a deficiency in the 
annual appropriation for the maintenance of these schools for 
the scholastic years 1916 and 1917. 10 * Through the cooperation 
of the federal government under the terms of the Smith-Hughes 
act approved by congress February 23, 1917, and accepted by 
the state legislature 105 approved October 11, 1917, the teaching 
of agricultural subjects in secondary schools will be greatly in- 
creased in the future. 

The agricultural demonstration and extension work which 
ic prosecuted under direction of the Agricultural and Mechani- 
cal College in cooperation with the United States Department of 
Agriculture has developed phenominally during the past few 
years. In 1919 there were 269 men and women engaged in the 
various branches of this work. 106 The activities of the extension 
workers are organized in five separate divisions, namely, (1) the 
Administrative Division, (2) the Scientific and Expert Divison, 
(3) the Boys' Club Division, (4) the Farm Demonstration Di- 
vision, and (5) the Home Economics Divisions. On April 15, 
1919 in seventy-four of the eighty-two counties of the state there 
was a full-time county farm demonstrator. 107 In addition, 
twelve counties had assistant emergency demonstration 
agents. 108 Eleven counties had local negro agents to work 
especially among the members of that race. 109 Sixty counties 
had women county home demonstration agents. Negro women 
were employed to work with the members of their race as county 

,02 Laws 1916, Ch. 193, p. 283. 

103 Laws 1918, Ch. 55, p. 59. 

,w Laws 1918, Ch. 56, p. 59. 

l03 Laws of Special Session, 1917, Ch. 29, S. B. No. 17. See also Ch. 18, 

Laws Special Session, 1917; Laws 1918, H. B. No. 310, and S. B. 

No. 4. 
""Catalogue, Miss. A. & M. College, 1918-1919, pp. 11-18. 
""Ibid., pp. 13-14, list of the counties. 
"■Iibd., pp. 14-15. 
"•Ibid., p. 15. 



home demonstration agents in twenty-four counties. 110 As the 
state's share, the legislature of 1918 appropriated a total of 
$77,000 for the extension work under the Smith-Lever act of 
congress which was approved May 8, 1914. Of this total, 
$37,500 wa3 appropriated for men 's work ; $29,500 for women's 
work; and $10,000 for boy's work. 111 It was stated in the bill 
appropriating this amount that it should be used for the fol- 
lowing purpose: "Boys' corn club, baby beef club and pig club 
work, demonstration work for men and women, farmers insti- 
tute work, and offset for the Smith-Lever funds." 112 

The Director of the extension forces has administrative con- 
trol over the whole organization. At the head of each division 
i& an assistant director. The central offices are located at the 
Agricultural and Mechanical College. 

It is apparent that the agricultural administration of the 
state as a whole does not constitue a centralized system; yet 
certain phases of the work, e. g., the extension work, is organ- 
ized into a centrally controlled plan. The three general phases 
of the administration of agricultural activities in the state may 
be put down as (1) those of experimentation, (2) those of teach- 
ing, and (3) those of policing, or inspection work. By group- 
ing the various agricultural activities, for administrative pur- 
poses, under these three divisions, with a responsible head for 
each division and a definite plan of correlating the work of the 
three divisions greater efficiency and surer economy of adminis- 
tration could, it seems reasonably certain, be effected. 113 

110 Ibid., p. 16-18. 

m Laws 1918, Ch. 14, p. 20. 

n2 Ibid. 

" 3 For suggested plans of organization in the public administration 
of agricultural interests, see (1) Recent Administration in Vir- 
ginia, Ch. V, pp. 145-146, Magruder, 1912, Johns Hopkins Press, and 
(2) Report on Pub. Adm. in relation to Agr. and Allied Interests, 
J. W. Garner, 1914, pp. 49-51, prepared for the Effic. and Econ., 
Commission, State of Illinois. 




Aberdeen, 183 

Academy, Elizabeth Female, 25 

Academy, Franklin, 2 5 

Academy, Hampstead, 25 

Act, 1890, 128; 1866, 135; 
Hatch, 251; Smith-Lever, 
261; Banking 1914, 175. 

Acts, bearing on Tax Commis- 
sion, 215, 216, 188, 162; 
1892, 162; 1910, 133. 

Acts, educational, 36 

Adjutant General, 12 

Administration, Agricul t u r a 1, 
244ff; public, in rel. to 
Agrl. & allied interests, 261; 
Recent in Va., 261 

Advance, Miss. Educational, 74, 
117, 124. 

Agent, State Revenue, 10, 18. 

A. & M. College, 15, 101, 131, 
134, 146, 152, 230, 232, 
250-3, 255, 257, 259; Bul- 
letins of, 113-114; Cata- 
logues of 139, 259, 260; 
opened, 138; legislation for, 
137; maintenance, 64. Presi- 
dent, 89, 231; scope, 139; 
statistics, 138-9; trustees, 
138, 231; women at, 138 

Agriculture, 19; county depart- 
ment of, 250; courses in, 
259; Secretary of, 162; 
State Dept. of. 250; U. S. 
Dept. of, 250, 256, 260 

Agriculture & Commerce, Com- 
mission of, 11, 15, 18; 232, 
249; 254-255; 257 

Agriculture & Commerce, Dept. 
of created, 11, 248, 25 4; 
work of, 249 

Agriculture, Horticulture & Bot- 
any, Dept. of at Univ., 137 

Agriculture & Immigration, 
Dept. of, 247 

Agriculture, Statistics, & Immi- 
gration, Commissioner; 
duties of, 248-9 

Aid, federal to ed., 120; State 
aid to, withdrawn, 86 

Alabama, St. of, 185 

Alcorn A. & M. College, 56, 64, 
131, 146; incorp. 136; for 
negroes, 152; property and 
funds of, 146; reorganized, 
137; statistics, 146-7 

Alcorn, Gov., 41, 56. 

Alcorn Univ. estab., 56; 145-6 

Allowance, per capita for Edu- 
cation, 122 

Amendment, Fourteenth o f 
Const. U. S., violated, 84 

Ames, General Adelbert, Mili- 
tary Governor, 55, 57, 123, 

Amite County, 39, 42 

Anderson, E. F., 180 

Anti-slavery, 127 

Appraisers, board of, 50, 51 

Arbor Day, 70 

Archives and History, Dept. of, 
14; 15; 258 

Arkansas, 145; Gov. of 184 

Assembly, Miss. Territorial, 158, 

Assessment, mode of, 199 

Assessments, equalization of 
county, 205 



Assessor, county, 189, 199, 211- 

Assessors, county, to enumerate 
children, 47, 186; compen- 
sation of, 206, 209; salaries, 
207; proposed examination, 

Association, American Mission- 
ary, 35, 56, 145 

Association, Miss. Bankers, 56, 
164; Journal, 178-9; pro- 
ceedings, 164 

Association, Library, 113 

Association, State Medical, 12, 
220f; 224, 243 

Association, Southern Pine, 252 

Association, Teachers', 36, 113, 
124, 125, 138, 142; report 
1919, 125 

Association, State Veterinary 
Medical, 13, 233 

Asylum, State Insane, 242 

Attendance, Compulsory School, 

Attorney General, 10, 15, 18; on 
Board of Ed., 39; 69, 110, 
170, 207, 216, 255; ap- 
points one Bank Commis- 
sioner, 167 

Attorneys, 176 

Auditor of Pub. Accounts, 7; 
election, 9; 15. 18; 48; 64; 
67, 122, 162; appoints one 
bank commissioner, 167; 
report 1915-1917, 194 

Bandi, J. A., 178, 179 

Bank, Agricultural, 160; First 
Natl, of Columbus, 161 

Bank of Mississippi, 27 

Bank, Planters', 158 

Bank, Union, 160 

Bank, U. S. branch at Natchez, 

Banker, The Miss., 193 

Banking, 19, 157 

Banking, Hist, of In All Nations, 

157-160; in Miss., 160, 174- 

Banking, preceding Civil War, 

Banking, State Dept. of, 165, 

176, 181-3; maintenance, 

169; reports, 164, 171, 175, 

Banking, statistics 1900-1918, 

Banking, wildcat, 160 
Banks, Mississippi, 195; Nation- 
al, 179, 183; Savings, 173; 

statistics of, 162-3; Union 

& Planters', 161; U. S. 

1837, 160; inspection of, 

Bardwell, Joseph, Supt. of Ed., 

Beat One, Otibbeha Co., 201 
Beats, or Supervisors' districts, 

Bill, Kyle Banking, 202f 
Biloxi, 183 

Blind, Institute for, 242 
Board, County School, 84-86; 

compensation for, 81; 

meetings, 81; personnel, 80 
Board, International Health, 

Bogan vs Holder, 207 
Bolivar County, 88, 119 
Bond, for members of Board of 

Ed., 45 
Bond, W. F., State Supt. Educa- 
tion, 154, 234 
Bonds, Levee, 170; Miss, 170; 

U. S. deposited with State 

Treas., 170 
Botany, 137 
Boyd, G. F., 142 





Brandon, Gov., 26, 129, 158 

Britton & Koontz, Bank of, 161 

Brough, C. H., 161, 175, 184- 

Brown, A. G., Governor, 127; 
ex. Gov. 128; 28, 29, sup- 
port of free education, 29; 
canvass for education, 30; 
messages to legislature, 30, 
31; elected to Congress, 32 

Brown, Johnson & Co., Vicks- 
burg, 161 

"Bulletin," The, 250 

Bureau, The Freedman's, 34, 35 

Calhoun Co., 240 

Calhoun, J. T., 88-89; 117 

Campbell, Judge J. A. P., 162 

Cardoza, negro Supt. Ed., 58 

Carolinas, the, 126 

Carnegie Corporation, 111 

Carpet-bag, 60, 97, 146 

Carriage, tax on pleasurable, 

Cases, appeal, 76 

Censors, board of, 223 

Census, 1860, 134; 1910, 227; 
13th U. S., 192 

Census Bureau, 237 

Centralization, 157; in banking 
law, 166; in adm. of higher 
educational institu ti o n s , 
151; in adm. of pub. edu- 
cation, 151 

Certificates, teachers', 47, 51 

Chancellor, director of Literary 
Fund, 24 

Chancellor, St. Univ., 15, 231 

Chancery Court, Clerk, 76, 212 

Charter, for Univ., 130 

Chattahoochie River, 184 

Chemist, State, 11; 288; 230-1; 
249; 252-4 

Chemistry, agricultural, 156 

Chemistry, Prof, of at A. & M. 

College, 230; 252-3 
Chemists, 231 
Chickasaw River, 187 
Cholera, hog, 232, 256 
Cities, defined, 17 
Civil War, 34, 58, 127, 161 
Claiborne Co., 25, 140, 145 
Clerk, of Circuit Court, Secy, of 

Co. School Board, 42, 48, 

54; municipality, 76 
Code, Hutchinson's, 1798-1848, 

22, 188, 244, 245, 246, 

Code, Sargent's, 185 
Code, 1871, 46, 130 
Code, Revised 1871, 44-54; 95; 

104, 105; 218, 219 
Code, 1880, 255 
Code, 1892, 12; 224-228; 230; 

251; 253-255 
Code, 1892, amended, 228 
Code, 1892, annotated, 253 
Code 1906, 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 

15-17; 67-72; 74, 75; 77- 

83; 89; 96-97; 99-104; 110- 

112; 114; 119-121; 184; 

198-9; 201; 206; 208-212; 

227-8; 230; 240; 254; 257 
College, Agricultural, 137 
Colleges, Northern and Eastern 

College, State, 234 
Colleges and Universities, South- 
ern, 127 
Collins, 177, 183 
Columbia, 183 
Columbia Univ. Series, 148 
Columbia Univ. Studies, 148 
Columbus, 131, 139, 183 
Columbus Ins. & Banking Co., 

Commerce, Bank of (Gulf port), 




Commission, Capitol, 15 
Commission, County Library, 

112; Co. School, 90, 92 
Commission, Educational, 69; 
73-4; 90; 151; code not 
sanctioned, 74, 90; proposed 
law, 93-4 
Commission, Geological Sur- 
vey, 11, 14, 15, 257-8 
Commission, Highway, 14 
Commission, Illiteracy, 11, 14; 

69; 72-3; 151 
Commission, Railroad, 9, 18, 

Commission, Tax, 198; 204-5; 
208-11; 213; duties of, 
202; report of, 205 
Commission, Text Book, 11, 14, 
69, 149, 151, 167; compen- 
sation, 72; personnel and 
duties, 71; work of, 108 
Commissioner, Land, 9, 18 
Commissioner, County School, 

Commissioner, School, 33, 42 
Commissioners, Board of Bank, 
13, 160, 167; 176; remun- 
eration, 168; vacancy on, 
Commissioners, Co. School, in 

five counties, 42 
Commissioners, Election, 15, 91 
Commissioners, Railroad, 199 
Commissioners, Sanitary, 220, 

Commissioners, Tax, 14, 202-3' 
Commissioners, Univ. site, 1840, 

Committee, Premium, 244 
Committees, legisl. investigating 

Committees, text book, 105 
Companies, Railroad and Bank- 
ing, 159 

Conference, Methodist, 56 
Congress, 134, 135, 184; act of, 
64; acts 1815-19, 128; 
1894 donates land to I. I. 
& C, 140; 1862; 251; 
1917, 260 
Consolidation of Schools, 152 
Constitution, Miss., 7; 49, 114; 
State, 196; U. S., 49, 84; 
1817, 20, 26, 37-8, 64, 148; 
1832, 26, 36-7, 148, 211; 
1868-9, 35, 38-41, 44, 47, 
148, 197, 206, 211, 214, 
246, 247; 1890, 8, 14, 15, 
62-4, 110, 114, 116-9, 133', 
148, 162, 197, 199-201, 
206, 208-209, 211, 214, 
Convention, Aug. 1865, 36; 62; 
"Black and Tan," 190; con- 
stitutional, 189-190; Dem- 
ocratic State, 140; taxpay- 
ers', 190; Reconstruction, 
Cooley, Law of Taxation, 148 
Copiah County, 40; 140-1 
Corinth, school for negroes at, 

Cost, governmental, per capita, 

Council, city, 48 
Counties, classes of, 207; issue 
of bonds for securing Nor- 
mal, 143 
Court, of common pleas, 185 
Court, general quarter session, 

Covington County, 118, 120, 

196; Bank of, 177 
Currency, 53' 

Dancing Rabbit, treaty of, 26 
Davis, Whitman, 111, 112 




Deaf and Dumb, Instiitute for, 

Deaf, Dumb, and Blind, 114 

Debt, bonded, 194 

Decentralization of pub. schools, 
32, 33ff 

Degree, B. A., 130; college, 125 

Delta, Yazo-Miss., 251 

Democrats, 58 

Demonstration, agricultural, 259- 

Department, Agrl. at Univ., 

Depositos, bank, 170f 

Deposits, bank, 157; guaran- 
teed, delned, 173; guaran- 
ty of, 165, 169, 173f; in- 
crease of since 1914, 180; 
not to exceed ten times cap. 
& surplus, 173 

Deputy, for Co. Supt. Ed., 79 

DeSoto County, 132, 227 

Directors, board of school, 42, 
48, 49, 55 

Disease, eradication of, 235-6 

Diseases, plant, 257 

District Attorney, 216, 223, 231 

District, congressional, 46, 52, 
220, 224 

District, school, 39, 40, 53, 9 4, 

District, supervisors', 201 

District, supreme court, 132, 

Districts, consolidated school, 

Districts, county, 211 

Districts, levee, 14 

Districts, rural school, 119-120. 

Districts, school, 44, 48, 121; 
boundaries of, 82, in two 
counties, 81-2; new system 
of, 62; separate for white 
and colored, 81 

Districts, separate school, 119 

Districts, supervisors', 16, 151 

Division, Administrative, 260; 
Boys' club, 260; Farm 
Demonstration, 260; Home 
Economics, 260; Scientific 
and expert, 260 

Dutton and Snedden, Profs., 
115, 118, 121, 123' 

Ecru, 183 

Education, nine hours in for 
teachers' license, 101 

Education and Sociology, Dept. 
of, 138 

Education, Board of, 10, 15, 29, 
39, 44-5, 48, 52, 63, 69, 
85, 91, 98, 104, 150, 151, 
152; appeal to, 79; duties, 
39, 70; meetings, 70; per- 
sonnel, 15, 39, 69; quorum, 
29; cooperates with Brd. 
Health, 233 

Education, compulsory, 57, 
123f, 150 

Education, Department of, 87, 
151, 154; Bulletin 6, 89, 
90; Bulletin 10, 84, 88, 89; 
Bulletin 12, 86, 87, 88, 
102; Report, 118, 122 

Education, General Commission- 
er of, 67 

Education, higher, 25, 74, 125; 
slow growth, 25; of women, 

Education, History of in Miss., 
127; see Mayes 

Education, negro, 55-60; not op- 
posed by whites, 55 

Education, Northern, opposition 
to, 127 



Education, public, 19, 58-9; be- 
gun, 2 Iff.; adm. of in U. S., 
115; financing of, 115ff; 
retarded by Civil War, 37; 
after war, 35; unified sys- 
tem of, 37, 63 

Educational, vocational, 120; 
Smith-Hughes, 120 

Election, general, 9, 214 

Election, popular, of State offi- 
cers, carried to extreme, 17 

Ely, R. T., 214 

Embalming, Board of, 15, 228- 

Ency. Miss. History, 62, 138, 
139, 141, 146, 161, 162; see 
also Rowland 

Engineer, State Highway, 14 

Entomologist, 15, 257 

Equalization, county boards of, 

Eradication, tick, 200, 232 

Examination, of candidates for 
law examiners, 167; county 
teachers', 83; teachers', 
61; uniform, 62 

Examinations, teachers', 149 

Examiners, Bank, may be re- 
moved by Banking Commis- 
sion, 169; salary, 169 

Examiners, Board of Bank, 9, 
162, 166, 170f, 178, 181-3; 
bond for, 167; chairman of, 
176; duties of, 169, 172; 
qualifications of, 166; re- 
ports of, 180; vacancy in, 

Examiners, Boad of Dental,13, 

Examiners, Board of Law, 12 

Examiners, Board of Library, 
proposed, 113 

Examiners, Board of Nurses, 13", 

Examiners, Board of Pharma- 
ceutical, 12, 227-8 

Examiners, County Board of 
Teachers', 82; compensa- 
tion, 82; personnel, 83 

Examiners, State Board of 
Teachers', 11, 14, 69, 70, 
83, 90, 99, 151; appt. by 
Supt., 70; compensation, 71 

Examiners, Board of Veterinary, 
13, 228, 232 

Exemptions, military service, 53 

Expenditure, on Education, 33, 
65, 66 

Extension, agricultural, 260 

Failures, bank, 166; causes of, 
165; in Miss., 164; since 
1914, 177; in Southern 
States, 164 

Fairs and expositions, 250 

Fertilizers, analysis of, 253; tax 
on, 11 

Fever, yellow, 221 

Finance, problems of education- 
al, 123 

Finances, the State's, 193, 195 

Food, adulteration of, 230 

Forrest County, 144, 235; auth- 
orized to issue bonds for se- 
curing Normal College, 143* 

Free-holder, resident, 212 

Free Trader, 160 

Friends, Society of, 35 

Fund, Chickasaw School, 64, 
116-117; common school, 
40\ 63; Confederate pen- 
sion, 192; county indigent, 
189; county school, 118; 
free school, 40; general 
school, 116, 121; guaranty, 
170f, 172, 177, 182; land- 
scrip, 134, 136-7; literary, 
23, 24, 27; military, 189: 




school house, 53; school 
land, 53; seminary, 27, 
134; state school, 53, 119; 
teachers', 50, 53, 59; Two 
per cent, 117, 149; Three 
per cent, 117, 149 

Funds, Chickasaw, 44; county 
A. H. S., 86; deficit in in- 
stitute, 104; educational, 
53; federal, 116; invested, 
115; school, 41, 44, 47, 48, 
69, 122, 149; school houses 
61; sixteenth section, 42; 
Smith-Lever, 261; special, 
134; Two and Three per 
cent, 118 


Garner, Dr. J. W., 35, 38, 41, 55, 
58, 261 

Garner, P. P., Com. Agr. & Com- 
merce, 249 

Geologist, State, 14, 258 

Georgia, 126 

Goodnow, F. J., 7; Municipal 
Home Rule, 148 

Government, division of depart- 
ments, 7; carpet-bag, 60, 
146, 190; confederate, 184; 
federal, 21; post-confeder- 
ate, 184; Spanish, of Miss., 

Governor, 7, 14, 15, 18, 73, 110, 
115, 152, 220-221, 221, 
232, 247-8, 255, 257; ap- 
pointive power, 12ff, 167; 
on board trustees Normal 
College, 143; cannot suc- 
ceed himself, 7; double ma- 
ority for election of, 8; 
powers, 16; pres. A. & M. 
College Board Trustees, 
138; pres. Univ. Board 
Trustees, 130-1; pres. Lit- 
erary Fund, 24 

Graduates, college, 101 

Grange, State, 137 

Greek, language, 24 

Green, J. J. T., of Jackson, 161 

Grenada, 139 

G. T. T., 161 

Gulfport, 177, 179 

Hancock, County, 40, 219, 235. 

Harris, S. S., Bank Examiner, 

Harrison, County, 196, 219. 

Hart, Henry, Pres. Miss. Bank- 
ers Assn., 1915, 179. 

Harvard, 126 

Hattiesburg,. 144 

Hawkins vs Mangum, 210 

Health, County boards of, 226; 
Nfl. board of, 221 

Health, public, 19, 218 

Health, State board of, 12, 219- 
220ff, 223ff, 226f, 229-231, 
234f, 236ff, 241, 243, or- 
ganization of 253f; reports, 
233f, 238-240, 241-2 

Henderson, John, petition for 
gospel of education, 21 

Henry, T. M., auditor, 164. 

High Schools, agricultural, 120, 
153-4, 259; bi-county, 85-6; 
county, 83-84; functions of, 
87; land required, 84; neg- 
ro, 88; state support of, 85; 
statistics, 88; trustees of, 

High Schools, city and town, 
154; rural, 154 

Hinds, County, 39, 42, 140 

Holly Springs, 56, 145, 183, 251 

Horticulture, dept. of at Univ., 

Hospital, Charity, 242 

Hospital, E. Miss. Insane, 242 

Hospitals, Kings Daughters, 242 



Hospital, Mattie Hersee, 242 
Hospital, State Charity of South 

Miss., 242 
House Journal, 1839, 127; 1841, 
129; 1844, 127; 1872, 146; 
1876, 145 
Hubhard, F. J., 120 
Humphreys, Gov., 35, 135 
Husbandry, animal, bureau of, 
250; prof, of at A. & M. Col- 
lege, 15, 232, 255 


Illinois, 261 

Illiteracy, 57 

Immigration, 247 

Immigration and Agriculture, 
commission of, 246-7; lept. 
of, 247f 

Independence, National, 184 

Indians, schools for, 114 

Industrial Institute and College, 
101, 131, 139, 152; act of 
incorporation, 14 0; bill for 
estab. of, 140; Bulletin 
1918, 141; site at Columbus, 
selection of, 141; statistics, 

Inrustdy, banking, growth of, 164 

Industry, bureau of animal, 256 

Inspection, hotel and restaurant, 

Inspector, chief canitary, 238 

Inspector, state factory, 12, 228- 

Institute, teachers', in each con- 
gressional district, 45, 52, 
61, 103, 104, 150 

Institution, Miss, for education of 
Deaf and Dumb, 114 

Institution, State for instruction 
of the Blind, 114 

Institutions, deaf, dumb, and 
blind. 63; educational and 
eleemosynary, 13, 191; high- 
er educational, 192 

Insurance, State Commission of, 
10, 15, 18 

Interior, U. S. Secretary of, 136 

Interest, rate of to depositors, 

Issaquena County, 119 

Itta Bena, 183 


Jackson, 75, 138, 144, 179, 190 

Jackson, County, 196, 219, 235 

Jasper, County, 196 

Jefferson College, 21, 126, 128; 
library, 111 

Jefferson, County, 39, 42 

Johns Hopkins, 184 

Johnson, Oscar, 204 

Jones, County, 196, 235 

Judge, presiding of Supreme 
Court, 24 

Judges, Supreme Court, 15 

Justices, county, 23 

Kentucky, 126 

Ker, Rev. David, 21 

Kyle, legislator, 202 

Labauve, endowment to Univ., 

Laboratory, chem., 136 

Laboratory, Division of Hygienic, 

Land, school, 48 

Lands, Chickasaw, 24, 149, 160 

Lands, Choctaw, 24, 25, 64 

Lands, public, 134 

Lands, ratings of, in 1815, 187 

Lands, school, 23, 24; sale of, 
50f; lease of, 51 

Latin, 24 




Laurel, 144 

Law, banking, 188, 162; 1892, 

162; to insure bank depos- 
its, 164; 1914, 162; 166f, 

Law, compulsory school, 123 
Law, general common school, 59 
Law, Model, 237, 239 
Law, proposed of Educational 

Comm., 90 
Law, School, 30-31; 1846, 42£; 

1870, 42f, 46,97; 1876, 58; 

1886, 51. 
Lawrence, County, 40 
Laws, 1866-7, 135; 190 
Laws, 1871, 136 
Laws, 1876, 130-1, 219 
Laws, 1877, 220 
Laws, 1880, 222-223 
Laws, 1882, 15, 223, 230, 247, 

Laws, 1888, 230, 251-3 
Laws, 1890, 105-6 
Laws, 1894, 10, 119 
Laws, 1896, 11, 71, 212, 228, 

Laws, 1900, 17, 120, 121 
Laws, 1901, 251 
Laws, 1902, 14, 83 
Laws, 1904, 13, 15, 102-3, 108, 

228, 251, 254 
Laws, 1906, 11, 14, 15, 121, 

247-8, 257-8 
Laws, 1908, 14, 15, 84, 101, 120, 

133, 231-2, 256-8 
Laws, 1910, 84-89, 119-120, 131- 

3', 141, 143-4, 147, 216, 230- 

2, 251, 255-6, 259 
Laws, 1911, 84 
Laws, 1912, 11, 75, 84, 101, 108, 

117, 119-120, 122, 133, 141, 

144, 147, 231-2, 237, 249, 

254, 256, 259 

Laws, 1914, 12, 13. 102, 117, 
119-120, 122, 144, 147, 209, 
228-9, 231-3, 237-8, 255-6, 

Laws, 1916, 11, 12, 14, 17, 69, 
72-3, 84, 86, 89, 95-6, 100- 
102, 108-110, 115, 117, 120, 
122, 144, 147, 200, 202-203, 
206, 232, 235-236, 238-24'0, 
255-6, 259-260 

Laws, 1917, (spec, session), 260 

Laws, 1918, 12, 14, 15, 72, 101, 
114-115, 117, 120, 122, 124, 
134, 139, 141, 144, 147, 166, 
182, 200, 214-216, 230, 232, 
236-240, 242, 248-249, 252, 
255-257, 259-261 

Laws, banking, Miss. & Federal, 

Laws, feed and fertilizer, 249, 
252, 255 

Laws, school, 1846, 38; code of, 
73; Pamphlet of, 46 

Learning, institutions of higher, 

Leagues, taxpayers', 190 

Leases, school lands, 28; sixteen- 
th sections limited to ten 
years, 64 

Lee, County, 196 

Legislation, fiscal, 185 

Legislation, minimum essentials 
of school, 125 

Legislators, not to serve on board 
trustees colleges, 132; to 
serve on board, 133 

Legislature, 41, 116; creates 
Planters' Bank, 158; spec- 
ial session, 1837, 159; 18 46, 
30; 1848, passes four stat- 
utes on education, 32; 1860, 
passes twenty-six statutes on 
education, 33; 1861, 130; 
1904, 227; 1916, 98 



Liberator, The, 127 

Librarian, county, proposed, 113 

Librarian, State, 7 ; selected by 
legislature, 9, 113, 116 

Libraries, public, 110; statistics 
of Miss., Ill 

Library, county board, proposed, 

Library, county free, proposed, 

Library, Massachusetts, 110 

Library, package, bulletin, Miss. 
A. & M. College, 112 

Library, public, 150 

Library, school, 112 

Library, situation in Miss., Ill 

Library, State, 14, 110 

License, bank examiners' valid 
four years, 168 

License, teachers', 62; first 
grade, 99; in Indian schools, 
114; professional life, 100, 
101; renewal of, 97; revok- 
ed by, 79; second grade, 99; 
state, secured, 100; state, 
valid for three years, 100; 
third grade, 99; transferred, 
83, 100; varieties of, 98 

License, for sale of liquor, 40; 
proceeds to education fund, 

Lieutenant Governor, 7; election 
of, 8, 18 

Lincoln, County, 117 

Livestock, Sanitary Board, 14, 15, 
228-232, 242, 251, 255-7 

Lobbying, 155 

Longino, Gov., 142 

Louisiana, 145; tax commission 
of, 214 

Louisville, 129 

Love, J. S., Chairman Board 
Bank Examiners, 178, 180, 
181, 183 

Lowndes, County, 28 

Lowry & McCardle, History of 
Miss., 20, 26, 29, 185 

Macy, Our Government, 36, 37, 

Madison College, 127 

Madison, County, 227 

Magruder, F. H., 155, 261 

Malaria, eradication of, 239, 224 

Map, register & outline, 80 

Marion, County, 40 

Marshall, C. K., 105 

Martin, Hon. J. McC, 140 

Maryland, 126 

Massachusetts, Pub. Adm. in, 148 

Mayes, Judge Edward, History of 
Education in Miss., 21, 22, 
25, 29-34, 36, 37, 43, 54, 57, 
95, 126-130, 132, 134-7, 140, 
145, 146 

McFarland vs Goins, 84 

McNeely, J. K., 140 

McNeill, 251 

McNutt, Gov., 127, 129; message, 
139, 160, 161 

Medicine, practice of, 223 

Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial- 
Appeal, 120, 122, 125, 179, 
181, 204, 217 

Meridian, 35, 242; pub. library 
for negroes in, 111 

Mexico, Gulf of, 219 

Middle States, 126 

Middleton, 129 

Millsaps, R. W., 160, 161 

Mill, tax, 155 

Minute book twenty-six, 217 

Mississippi, admitted to Union, 
23; early immigrants to, 126 

Mississippi, Bank of, 157-8; dis- 
continued in 1839, 159 

Mississippi City, 129 

Mississippi College, 25 





Mississippi River, 184, 187 
Money and Its Laws, 161 
Money, paper, issued by Planters' 

Bank without limit, 158 
Monroe, County, 61, 196 
Monroe Missionary Station, 129 
Month, school, twenty days, 51 
Morrill, Land-grant Act, 134, 146 
Municipal Home Rule, 14 8 
Municipalities, 16, 17; allowed to 
issue bonds for securing 
Normal College, 143; separ- 
ate educational districts, 47 
Natchez, 21, 35, 157-8, 187 
National Guard, 12 
Negro, education of, 123; Indus- 
trial training of girls, 146 
Negroes, higher education for, 56 
New Albany, 183 

New England, Anti-Slavery Socie- 
ty of, 127 
New England States. 126 
Newton, County, 177 
New York Financier, 164 
New York, General Education 

Board of, 94 
New York World, 110 
Normal College, 11, 13, 87, 142. 
154; bids for site of, 144 
established 1910, 125, 141 
located at Hattiesburg. 144 
provision for by legislature 
1910, 142; spearate board of 
trustees for, 143-4, 152; sta- 
tistics, 144 
Normal, State for training of 

negro teachers, 145 
North Carolina, 237 
Northwest Freedman's Commis- 
sion, 35 

Oakland College, 25, 145 
"Obstructions, impassible," for 
schools, 81 

Office, assessing, reasons for fail- 
ure of, 208 

Office, general land, 135 

Office, expenses of State Supt. of 
Education, fixed by State 
Board, 70 

Officer, Executive of State Board 
of Health, 15 

Officer, County Health, 222 

Officer, school, not an agent for 
publishers, 63 

Officers, administrative, 7 

Officers, county, 16 

Officers, county health, 225, 

Offices, elective, 18 

Offices, provided for by legisla- 
ture, 9 

Oklahoma, 165 

Oktibbeha, County, 201 

Ordinance of 1787, 20, 128; for 
defense, 189 

Organization, county, 16 

Organization, executive gradual, 

Oxford, 131, 183'; site for semi- 
nary, 1841, 129 

Pacific Express vs Seibert, 214 

Pardons, Board of, 14 

Party, Democratic, 214 

Pearl River, 40, 185 

Pearl River, County, 94, 235, 
240, 252 

Pease, H. R„ 149 

Pedagogy,, dept. of Industrial at 
A. & M. College, 138 

Pellagra, treatment of, 239 

Period, modern, 184; reconstruc- 
tion, 184, 190; 1861-67, 189, 
territorial, 184ff; transition- 
al, 184, 188 

Peyton, Mrs. A. C, 140 

Pharmacy, practice of, 224 

Philadelphia (Miss.), 183 



Plant, State Board, 15, 257 
Planters' Bank, 27, 160 
Poindexter, General, 23 
Poindexter, Gov., 158 
Police, county board of, 42 
Poll Tax, for education, 40 (see 

Poor, H. V., 161 
Poore, B. P., 36, 184 
Poplarville, 252 
Port Gibson, 158 
Powers, of Governor, 15, 16 
Powers, Gov., 145 
Prentiss, County, 235, 240 
Presbyterian Board, Reformed, 

Presbyterian Church, 25 
Presbyterians, 145 
President, A. & M. College, on 

Geological Comm., 15, 257; 

see A. & M. College. 
Press, Johns Hopkins, 155, 261 
Preston, J. R., Supt. Ed., 61, 65, 

106; report of, 62 
Princeton, 126 
Property, personal, 188; real, 

188; visible, 186 
Public Schools, open only to 

whites, 34; uniform system 

of, 39, 41; see also high 

schools, schools 
Pupils, negro, 35 
Pupils, number of, 33, 65, 66; 

1880, 59; 1882, 60; trans- 
portation of, 88ff 
Quarantine, 223-4; at gulf ports, 

Quitman, Go., message, 128 

Rate, millage, 195; tax rate for 

State fixed by legislature, 

Rates, tax, decrease in after 1875, 


Rawles, W. A., 148 

Reconstructionists, 58 

Regime, reconstruction, extrava- 
gance of, 191 

Register, Miss. Official and Sta- 
tistical Register, 138; Cen- 
tenary Volume, 142, 144, 

Registration, U. S. aera of, 237-8 

Reneau, Miss S. E., 139, 140 

Reports, auditor's, 164; depart- 
mental 223-4; school offic- 
ers and teachers, 76 

Republicans, 58 

Revenue, sources of for educa- 
tional purposes, 115 

Revenue, State's System and Fis- 
cal Affairs, 193 

Riley, F. L., School History of 
Miss., 21, 25, 33, 105, 125, 

Rodney, 131, 159 

Rosedale, 183 

Rowan, J. L. Pres. Alcorn A. & 
M. College, 146-7 

Rowland, Dr. Dunbar, Ency. Miss. 
History, 21, 23-5, 27-9, 34, 
3'6-7, 60-1, 98, 110, 117, 125, 
136-7, 139, 145, 157-160, 
164, 220-1 

Runnels, Gov., 159; message, 128 

Russell, Lee M., candidate for 
governor, 204 

Salaries, county superintendent 

of education, 56; teachers,' 

51, 55, 57, 62, 75, 102, 103; 

, teacher's discounted, 62; 

teachers' at institutions, 52 

Salem District, Covinfcton Co., 

Sallis, Bank of 177 

Sanitarium, State Tuberculosis, 

: . 



Sanitation, Division of Rural, 
234f; municipal, 238 

Sargent, Maj. Winthrop, Territor- 
al Governor, 21, 185 

School, common county, without 
and with tax levy, 94; con- 
solidated, 87, 94; Miss. In- 
dustrial and Training, 115; 
State Normal at Tougaloo 
Univ., 36; teacher training, 

Schools, bi-country, 85; common, 
67; consolidated, 83, 88, 
120; denominational, 25; 
high, 66; negro, 35; public, 
21, 62, 65-6, 122; rural, 
142; secondary, 25; sectar- 
ian, 63; separate for white 
and black race, 63; see also 
High Schools, Public schools 

Science, domestic, 85 

Scott, Prof. T. P. 142, 144 

Secretary of State, 7, 15, 18, 69, 
133; election of, 8; duties of, 
8, 9; general school commis- 
sioner, 33; on board of edu- 
cation, 39 

Seligman, Prof. E. R. A., 214 

Seminary, State, 128, 129; loca- 
tion at Oxford, 129 

Senate, approval of in appointing 
boards, 130, 138 

Senate and House, Joint Commit- 
tee of, to consider State's 
revenue system, 192, 195, 
. 205, 207, 209; report of, 
193, 196, 198, 204, 206, 208, 

Senate Journal, 1856, 139; 1866, 
135; 1870, 41; 1872, 54; 
1874, 57, 123; 1875, 57, 
123; 1876, 57, 123; 1878, 
59; 1880, 60 

Service Bureau, at A. & M. Col- 
lege, 112 

Sewall, Mr., Memorial of to Con- 
gress, 21 

Shaw University, 56, 154 

Sheriff, 186, 189, 209; as tax 
collector, 201 

Simpson, County, 40 

Sixteenth Section, 21, 44, 64, 116, 
117, 149; shameful neglect 
of grant, 28, 29 

Slavery, abolition of, 126 

Slaves, taxes on, 157 

Society, American Anti-slavery, 

Society, American Baptist Home 
Mission, 35 

Society, American and Foreign 
Anti-slavery, 127 

Society, Auxiliary Agricultural, 


Society, County Agricultural, 244 

Society, Freedman's Aid, 35 

Society, Miss. Historical, Publi- 
cations of, 29, 33-4, 36-8, 
42, 98, 137, 138, 162, 175, 
185, 188 

Society, State Agricultural, 244ff 

Soldiers, practical course for dis- 
abled at A. & M. College, 259 

Southern States, with ref. to land 
grant act, 135 

Starkville, 131, 146, 201; A. <& 
M. located at, 138 

State ex rel vs Wheatley, 217 

State Treasurer, 7, 44; election, 

Station, experiment, 251; Holly 
Springs, 252; McNeill, 252; 
Stoneville, 252 

Stations, experiment, 15, 250; 
branch, 251; director of, 257 

Statute, educational, 41 



Statutes, Digest of Miss. Territor- 
ial, 1816, 187; U. S., vol. 
12, 146 

Stockholders, double liability of, 

Stocks, U. S., 134 

Stone, A. H., 193-5 

Stone, Gov., 59 

Stonueville, experiment station at 

Studies, scientific and classical, 

Study, course of for public 
schools, 149 

Sub-district, 56 

Summit, 183' 

Sumner, Prof., 157-160 

Superintendent, of Blind Institu- 
tion, 115 ■ 

Superintnednt, of Deaf and Dumb 
Inst., 115 

Superintendent of Education, 
County, 39, 42, 46, 55, 56, 
63, 69, 91, 92, 95-97, 112, 
121, 149, 153, 154, 209, 
247; appoints school trustee 
in case of vacancy 79; duties 
of, 47, 75, 78; deductions 
from salary of, 77, 78; elec- 
tive, 39; not to teach, 75; 
office days, 77; opinion on 
school laws, 79; not an agent 
of publishers, 48; qualifica- 
tions, 74; reports, 76-7; sal- 
ary, 77; trustee of A. H. S., 
86; visit of, 62 

Superintendent of Education, 
County, Amite Co., 39, 42; 
Hindes Co., 39, 42; Jeffer- 
son Co., 39, 42; Wilkinson 
Co., 39, 42 

Superintendent of Education, 
State, 10, 45, 48, 63, 65, 67, 
69, 83, 116, 149-152, 154, 

257; clerk to, 46; duties, 
10, 11, 14, 18, 45-6, 68f; 
election of, 39; on board 
of education, 39, 42, 47; not 
to act as agent of publish- 
ers, 46, 48; on Normal Col- 
lege Board Trustees, 143; 
qualifications of, 39; reports 
of, 59, 65-8, 106; 1914-15, 
117-19; 1916-17;- 94 152, 
154; supervises institutes, 

Superintendent of Education, 
State, Assistant, 84 

Supervisor, county, 206; county 
school, proposed, 90; State 
elementary school, 89; State 
rural school, 88 

Supervisors, 76-78, 80, 86, 210; 
board of, 42, 48, 50, 113, 
121, 199, 203, 208, 211-12; 
219, 226; boards of, 55, 56, 
119, 191, 196, 200, 205, 235, 
250, 255, 256; levy tax for 
A. H. S., 87; persident of 
board, 213 

Supreme Court, 83, 110; clerk 
of, 18; of U. S., 214 

Swamp-lands, 40 

System, fiscal, charges against, 
195ff; extension of, 188 

System, school, common, 60, 153; 
public, 148, 192; state, 122 

Tactics, military, 134 

Tags, fertilizer, sale of, 249, 

Tax, 57; ad valoem, 119, 200; 
c6unty, 185ff; extra poll, 
119; general property, 213f; 
income, 186; military relief, 
189; poll, 116, 119, 122, 
188, 199, 201, 207; special 
war revenue, 189; territor- 
ial 1815, 187 



Taxation, 19, 184; history of, in 
Miss., 184, 187, see Brough; 
local, 115; local for educa- 
tion, 118; state, 115; state 
for school support, 118 

Taxes, road, 200; school, 200; 
inheritance, 216 

Taylor, Dr. J. M., 224 

Taylor, W. N., assistant State 
Supt. Ed., 84, 87 

Teachers, 142; incompetence of, 
61; in negro schools, 35; 
negro, 35, 61; number of, 

33, 59, 65, 66; qualification 
of, 149; see also Association, 
License, Salaries 

Tendencies, Centralizing in the 
Adm. of Indiana, 148 

Tennessee, 140 

Term, school, 39, 40; four 
months, 63, 116, 150; pro- 
posed six to seven months, 

Territory, Mississippi, 184-5 

Texas, 165 

Text books, 104-6; changes of, 
72; free, 109; prices, 49; 
profits on, 106; selection of, 
109; uniform, 75; uniform 
for county and town, 105-6; 
uniform for state, 107 

Thatcher, J. S. B., 30 

Tick, cattle, 251, 256 

Timberlake, Miss Elsie, 29, 32, 

34, 36, 37, 41, 98 
Tishomingo, County, 118 
Tombigbee River, 187 
Tougaloo University, 56, 145; 

Normal Department of, 56 
Towns, defined, 17 
Townships, 16 
Transylvania, 126 
Treasurer, County, 52, 54, 245; 

Report Tishomingo Co., 118 

Treasurer, State, 116, 141, 170, 

171, 247 
Trustees, Alcorn A. & M. College, 
147; Blind Inst., 115; Deaf 
and Dumb Inst., 115; Dept. 
Archives & Hist., 14; Indus- 
trial Institute and College, 
141; Industrial and Training 
School, 115; Penitentiary, 9, 
18; school, 56; separate 
school districts, 96; Univer- 
sity Miss., 129 
Trustees, single board of, for 
State Univiersity and three 
state colleges, 131-3', 138, 
141, 147, 152; control of by 
governor, 132; factional con- 
trol of, 156; secretary of, 
133; selection of, 132-3 
Tuberculosis, 12; bovine, 232; 
bureau of, 240; prevention 
and treatment of, 239 
Tunica, County, 42 

Union, Indian school at, 114 
Union, County, 124 
Union-Bank-Bonds, 29 
Union and Planters' Bank Bonds, 

not to be paid, 162 
United Brethren, 35 
U. S., Bank of, branch at Nat- 
chez, 157 
Universities, Western State, 128 
University, State, 34, 101, 128- 
132, 145, 152, 154, 257; ap- 
propriations for, 36, 134; co- 
education at, 131; establish- 
ed, 127; first session of, 
130; incorporation of, 130; 
library, 111; management, 
133; at Oxford, 146; shares 
land-scrip fund with Alcorn 
A. & M. College, 136 




Vaccine, anti-typhoid, 236 
Values, land, variations in, 196 
Veterinarian, State, 232, 255 
Veterinary Science, Prof, of at 

A. & M. College, 15, 255 
Vicksburg, 35, 159, 164, 242 
Virginia, 126; educational com- 
mission of, 155; general as- 
sembly of, 155; Pub. Adm. 
in, 155; University of, 126 
Village, defined, 17 
Vital Statistics, Bureau of, 15, 
229, 237 

Walker, Dr. B. M., 138 
Waller, H. K., Asst. Bank Exam- 
iner, 180 
Warren ts, school, 53' 
Warren, County, 120 

Warren, Joseph, 35 
Washington, County, 117, 217 
Westbrook, 227 
White, J. M., 137-8; Territorial 

Growth of Miss., 185 
Whitten, Dr. R. H., 148 
Wiggins, People's Bank at, 177 
Wilkinson, County, 34, 42 
Williams vs. Sharkey Co., 207 
Wirt Adams & Co., 161 
Woodville, 158 

Yale, 126 

Yandell vs. Madison Co., 227 
Yazoo Co., 118 
Yazoo River, 184-5 
Year, college, at A. & M. divided 

into quarters, 139 
Youths, enumeration of, for 

school purposes, 47 


Alfred Benjamin Butts was born on May 3, 1890, in Durham, North 
Carolina. In December 1892 his parents moved to Mississippi. He 
attended the public school at Artesia, Mississippi. On January 1, 
1908 he entered the Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical 
College, from which institution he received the degree of Bachelor of 
Science in Education in 1911, and the degree of Master of Science in 
Education in 1913. He was Fellow in Education and Instructor in 
History and Civics in the Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical 
College 1911-1912; instructor in English 1912-1913, 1913-1914, 1915- 
1916; associate professor of Philosophy and Sociology 1916-1917; and 
in 1918 was appointed professor of Education and Sociology. He was 
a graduate student in the University of Chicago during the summer 
quarters 1912 and 1913, taking work in Education under Professors 
Butler, Parker, and Bobbitt; in Political Science under Professors 
Merriam and Latane; and in Economics under Professors Mil- 
lis, Whitaker and Barnett. He has given courses under the Carnegie 
Endowment, as follows: summer quarters 1915 and 1916, International 
Relations in Ohio Northern University; summer quarter 1918, Latin- 
American Relations in the Mississippi A. & M. College; session 1918- 
1919, International Relations, in the Mississippi A. & M. College. 

He was a graduate student in Columbia University 1914-1915, and 
received the Master of Arts degree in June 1915. He was a graduate 
student in Columbia University during the summer term 1917, and 
the academic year 1917-1918 was spent in residence at Columbia Uni- 
versity as Gilder Fellow. While at Columbia he attended courses un- 
der Professors, McBain, Beard, Powell, Sait, Lindsay, Seager, Giddings, 
John Bassett Moore, Shotwell, Muzzey, Henry Jones Ford (Princeton) 
and Coker (Yale). He was a member of the graduate seminar of Pro- 
fessors Beard and McBain.